Energy Efficiency, Hydropower

Industry News

Issue 6 and Volume 29.

U.S. awards rehab contract at 6,809-MW Grand Coulee

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a Washington-based Knight Construction & Supply Inc. a US$1.5 million contract for modifications to a wheel-mounted gate servicing chamber in the Third Powerplant at the 6,809-MW Grand Coulee hydroelectric project.

Knight Construction will remove and dispose of existing electrical components, ventilation fans, electric control panels and eight doors and frames in the gate servicing chamber and the gate hoist servicing chamber. It also seeks relocation of a trailer-mounted dust collector and a stoplog lifting storage stand. It also calls for furnishing and installing eight fire doors and frames, three three-ton jib cranes, ductwork support system, service water piping, pressurized air piping, ventilation and filtration system ductwork, dust-tight explosion-proof light fixtures, emergency lights and junction boxes.

Rebuilding of Lake Delhi Dam may include small hydro project

Owners of the failed Lake Delhi Dam in eastern Iowa said the dam will be rebuilt and might again produce hydroelectric power.

The Lake Delhi Dam, which has not produced electricity for decades, could be rebuilt with a capacity of about 1.5 MW. The dam failed July 24, 2010, as rising floodwater from the Maquoketa River ate a 30-foot-wide hole in the structure. Areas below the dam, including in Hopkinton and Monticello, were evacuated.

The breach drained the 9-mile-long reservoir, which is surrounded by homes and cabins.

Lake Delhi Recreation Association President Jim Willey said an engineering firm is working on plans to rebuild the dam, originally constructed in 1927.

The dam generated power until the 1970s, and Willey says a rebuilt dam could do so again.

“We are going to do everything we can to make sure Lake Delhi is restored, that the dam is rebuilt, and that it makes power as the water flows,” Willey told the Des Moines Register.

Jocassee pumped-storage plant getting two new turbines

Duke Energy’s Jocassee Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Station will receive two new turbines for units 1 and 2 this fall, upgrading the station and increasing capacity by 50 MW. The turbines, manufactured by Voith Hydro in York, Pa., are designed for greater efficiency.

Following a seven-day trek, the first turbine arrived near Salem on Aug. 9. The second turbine is expected to arrive at the same location in early September.

Each turbine – about 23 feet in diameter and weighing nearly 150 tons – will be transported via interstate highways on 20-axle, dual-lane trailers about 250 feet long.

These turbines will be the first upgrades to Jocassee units 1 and 2 since they began commercial operation in 1973. Replacing the turbines will increase the capacity of each turbine from 170 MW to 195 MW. Each also will increase pumping capacity by 37 MW. Units 3 and 4 were upgraded in 2006 and 2007.

Lake Jocassee will be operated at least four feet below full pond during the upgrades to units 1 and 2, which are planned for September 2010 through May 2011.

When generating electricity, the Jocassee pumped-storage facility works as a conventional hydroelectric station. However, the facility also can reverse its turbines and pump back previously used water from Lake Keowee into Lake Jocassee. This allows Duke Energy to reuse the water to generate electricity for customers during periods of highest demand.

ABB provides equipment for Taum Sauk pumped-storage project

ABB said it has completed a comprehensive project to provide power equipment for the AmerenUE Taum Sauk pumped-storage hydro plant in Missouri. ABB made the announcement in July at HydroVision International 2010 in Charlotte, N.C.

ABB installed a complete integrated instrumentation, control and electrical (ICE) system package to help retrofit the AmerenUE 440-MW plant, allowing for improved functionality, reliability and modernization.

The total project value was more than $11 million.

ABB began this project with a full audit of existing equipment of the 40-year-old Taum Sauk power station. This pumped-storage hydro plant is comprised of two units, both of which ABB upgraded.

The Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant recently began generating electricity following AmerenUE’s unveiling of a new $490 million, 1.5 billion-gallon reservoir.

The Taum Sauk pumped-storage hydro project had been out of service since its upper reservoir’s mountaintop ring dam breached Dec. 14, 2005, releasing 1.4 billion gallons of water down the Black River, injuring nine people and damaging property.

U.S. awards dam safety contract for the 402-MW Dworshak project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Oregon-based Jensen Drilling Company a $1.94 million contract to upgrade the dam safety monitoring system at the 402-MW Dworshak Dam hydroelectric project in Idaho.

The three-unit Dworshak hydro project began generating electricity in 1973 on the Clearwater River.

The Walla Walla District seeks an upgrade, including replacement of vibrating wire sensors inside the dam, installation of new sensors and communication cabling and related hardware, upgrade or replacement of the automated data acquisition system, supply and commissioning of data handling and presentation software and minor civil works.

Coalition calls for passage of clean energy bill

A new coalition of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and biofuels organizations is pushing for the U.S. Senate to quickly pass comprehensive energy legislation that will create millions of American jobs and decrease U.S. reliance on fossil fuels.

A letter from the coalition was sent to all members of the Senate as a followup to President Obama’s call to action on energy. The coalition letter urges the Senate to move quickly with legislation promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and biofuels.

The coalition, which includes the National Hydropower Association, said that these policies will add millions of new, American jobs, protect our environment, and make the U.S. more energy independent and secure.

“Such a policy would add millions of American jobs and utilize our own domestic, clean, inexhaustible, and rapidly deployable resources. Acting now will stimulate construction and operations jobs as well as manufacturing and supply chains, rather than passively losing these jobs to other countries,” the coalition letter states.

Rehab contract awarded for Coralville Dam in Iowa

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded an $882,000 contract to Taylor Construction Inc. for rehabilitation of the main dam and stilling basin of Coralville Dam on the Iowa River in Iowa.

Coralville Dam was completed in 1958 to provide flood control, low flow augmentation, recreation, fish and wildlife management, forest management and water quality improvement.

The dam is 1,400 feet long and 100 feet high.

The work includes but is not limited to the following projects: Opening auxiliary outlet ditch, repairing and installing bulkheads, repainting bulkheads and braces, installing an earthen cofferdam, dewatering stilling basin work area, repair of scour and damage in stilling basin, installing new steel liner plate over sill within basin, installing concrete pad next to stilling basin wall and asphalt parking lot, repair and replace flared end section of auxiliary outlet pipe, and repair of access roads to pre-construction conditions.

Hydraulic dredge purchased for channel maintenance

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $3.25 million contract to Ellicott Dredges LLC under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the purchase of new hydraulic dredge for use in support of Colorado River channel maintenance.

Under this award, Ellicott Dredges LLC, a Baltimore-based contractor, will design and build a large-scale hydraulic dredge for use by Reclamation’s Yuma Area Office to remove accumulated silt and sediment from backwaters and settling basins along the lower Colorado River near Imperial and Laguna Dams.

“Removal of accumulated sediment from the lower stretches of the Colorado River is an ever present issue and challenge,” said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. “Keeping the channel clear of accumulated sediment through regular dredging operations will enhance Reclamation’s ability to provide irrigators along the All-American and Gila Gravity Main canals with reliable water supplies.”

Puget Sound completes trap-and-haul facility and hatchery

Hydropower generator Puget Sound Energy (PSE) recently completed construction of a new fish hatchery and an advanced upstream trap-and-haul facility on the North Cascades’ Baker River, projects that are expected to increase the river’s once struggling salmon populations.

The new facilities follow PSE’s 2007- 2008 construction of a floating surface collector (FSC) on Baker Lake that lures and safely captures juvenile salmon for downstream transport around PSE’s two Baker River hydroelectric dams.

The 1,000-ton FSC set new records in 2009 and 2010 for outmigration of juvenile salmon. Last spring, more than 520,000 fingerling salmon, mostly sockeye, were collected by the FSC and transported downstream.

“Technology can’t replace the natural habitat our salmon need to thrive, but technology can give Mother Nature a helping hand,” said Paul Wiegand, senior vice president of Power Generation at PSE. “We’re thrilled by the positive difference our investments are making for salmon in the Baker River. The future is looking much brighter for these magnificent fish.”

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