GE Hydro, a business unit of GE Power Systems, has been awarded contracts by Vattenfall Vattenkraft AB, Sweden’s largest electric utility, for the repowering of two hydro turbines with what the company says are environmentally friendly runners.Oslo, Norway – November 4, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The projects, at the company’s Naverede and Grundfors power plants in Indalsalven and Ume alv, respectively, are valued at a total of more than US$4.25 million. Vattenfall is engaged in a program to progressively renovate many of its hydro power stations originally commissioned in the 1950s and ’60s to keep them in peak operating condition. The 35 MW Naverede and 54 MW Grundfors plants are among those targeted for renewal in 2002. For each of these two run-of-river plants, GE will build and install a Kaplan turbine runner with a GE-developed design that uses water instead of oil inside the runner hub to reduce the risk of oil spillage into the environment during operation or maintenance. In a major departure from oil-filled runners in use since the 1920s, GE Hydro has successfully implemented reduced-oil or oil-free Kaplan turbine designs that include oil-free runners, hubs and greaseless bushings.