Canada utility plans $2 million upgrade for 127-MW Cat Arm

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro announced Aug. 13 the utility will invest nearly C$2 million (US$1.86 million) to replace aging equipment and upgrade its 127-MW Cat Arm hydroelectric station.

NLH outlined its plans in a 2008 capital program filed with Newfoundland’s Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities. Equipment and service providers for the work have not been selected.

The utility proposes to: upgrade original spherical valve maintenance seals through retrofit of new seals and new operating mechanisms; replace original governor controls for one turbine-generator unit; and replace the station’s fire alarm system, auxiliary service water pump, and secondary air line for switchgear.

Cat Arm, located on the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, operates under a head of 380.5 meters. Each of the project’s two Pelton turbine-generators generates electricity from an average rated flow of 20 cubic meters per second. The project annually generates 733-gigawatt-hours, on average. The units initially were synchronized in February 1985.

In 2006, Cat Arm provided 12 percent of the province’s total energy supply. NLH said the planned upgrades are essential to ensure continued reliability of the electrical system.

Tenders will be issued in early 2008, prior to commencement of work tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring, NLH Corporate Communications Manager Dawn Dalley said. Tender details, when they become available, will be posted in the �Vendor� section of the utility’s website:

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