Seattle City Light completes rewinding of unit at Boundary Dam hydropower project

Unit 53 is back in operation at Seattle City Light’s 1,003-MW Boundary Dam hydropower project, the northewestern utility reported.

The repairs were necessitated after the generator suffered a severe electrical short, disabling the unit before peak generating season on the Pend Oreille River and causing an estimated US$6 million to $7 million loss in surplus power sales between April and July of 2013.

Seattle City Light determined the electrical windings in the unit’s generator core needed a full replacement after having last been rewound in 1982.

The company estimated repairs at $18 million and paid for the rewinding from its capital improvement projects budget, thus having no effect on Seattle City Light’s ratepayers.

The rewinding was completed in about a year and $1 million under budget, the utility said, allowing it to be ready in time for the 2014 snowpack runoff.

“The project is an example of how a completely focused team, with exceptional project management, can come together and rebuild a machine in half the time we would typically take,” City Light general manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said. reported that Seattle City Light had completed the process for relicensing the plant with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this past August.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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