California water agency awards upgrade for 315-MW Colgate

Yuba County Water Agency awarded a contract to L&S Electric Inc. to upgrade turbine and generator control systems for the 315-MW Colgate hydroelectric plant, on the Yuba River.

L&S Electric, of Schofield, Wis., said it would supply the excitation and governor system for each of the plant’s two units. The work will include integration, engineering, supervision of installation, and commissioning. One unit will be upgraded in 2008, and the second unit in 2009.

The Colgate plant, one of three powerhouses in the 361.9-MW Yuba River project (No. 2246), provides peaking power to Pacific Gas &Electric Co. Its turbines weigh 28 tons each and are among the largest impulse turbines in the world.

The plant’s existing mechanical governor systems cannot provide stable power for load conditions below 25 MW, L&S Electric said. Yuba County Water Agency said it hopes to achieve a minimum stable load of 3 to 5 MW.

The upgraded governor system is expected to optimize unit availability and system response. The new governors will be capable of �black start,� automatic synchronization, power control, and isolation operation. Additionally, the upgraded governors can operate in spinning reserve and can interface with the power plant’s existing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

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