Industry News

Contract awarded for crane modifications at Grand Coulee

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded an $11 million contract to modify and upgrade six cranes at the Third Power Plant at Grand Coulee Dam. The Grand Coulee project is on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane, Wash.

The contract was awarded to Spokane, Wash.-based Dix Corporation.

The work consists of modifying two gantry cranes on top of the dam and three bridge cranes and one gantry crane inside the Third Power Plant. The work includes removal of existing operator’s controls, removal of all electrical equipment and wiring and design, fabrication, factory/field testing, furnishing and installing digital variable-frequency drive control systems.

Work is expected to begin April 12, 2011, and be completed around Nov. 30, 2012.

FERC proposes rules for grid frequency regulation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued proposed rules intended to ensure just and reasonable rates for frequency regulation service provided to organized wholesale electricity markets by generators, including hydropower, and some emerging technologies.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued Feb. 17, finds that current compensation practices for frequency regulation services in organized wholesale energy markets might not acknowledge the benefits of faster ramping resources, which might improve operational and economic efficiency and reduce costs to consumers. FERC has been examining such ancillary services, partly to ease barriers to integrating variable renewable energy sources into the grid.

Regulation service is an ancillary transmission service that protects the grid by correcting deviations in grid frequency and balance on transmission lines with neighboring systems.

Typically it is provided by generators that are specially equipped for the purpose.

“Frequency regulation is critical to maintaining the reliability of the transmission system,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said.

Voith Hydro to replace turbines at Fremont Canyon project

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $3.1 million contract to supply two replacement turbine runners for the 66.8-MW Fremont Canyon hydroelectric project on the North Platte River in Wyoming.

Fremont Canyon and the 38-MW Glendo hydro project form the Glendo Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Project.

Reclamation seeks replacement of Unit 1 and 2 turbine runners at Fremont Canyon, including cones, coupling bolts, wear rings and shear pins.

The work includes prototype performance design with complete computational fluid dynamic design of two stainless steel vertical Francis turbine runners.

Woronoco project wins low impact certification

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute determined the Woronoco Hydroelectric Project on the Westfield River in Russell, Mass., meets LIHI certification criteria.

LIHI certification for the 2.7-MW Woronoco Hydroelectric Project is granted for a five-year term expiring Jan. 28, 2015.

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of hydropower generation through the certification of hydropower projects that have avoided or reduced their environmental impacts pursuant to the institute’s criteria.

The LIHI certification for the Woronoco project includes several conditions.

The applicant in 2011 must commence and complete downstream fish passage effectiveness testing at its facility for Atlantic salmon and American eel.

What’s more, the applicant must demonstrate to LIHI from the results of that testing that the downstream fish passage measures in place at the facility are appropriately protective of the Atlantic salmon and American eel attempting to move through the facility.

Paul Rizzo among ENR magazine’s Top 25 Newsmakers for 2010

Dr. Paul Rizzo of Paul C. Rizzo Associates Inc. was named one of Engineering News-Record magazine’s Top 25 Newsmakers for 2010.

Selected annually by ENR editors, the Newsmakers are chosen for their innovations and achievements, for giving back to the industry and the public and for going beyond the duties of their day-to-day jobs.

When the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir failed in 2005, the project owner Ameren Missouri selected Dr. Rizzo as the engineer-of-record and primary failure investigator for the rebuild project.

Paul C. Rizzo Associates, along with Ozark Constructors and Ameren Missouri, rebuilt the Upper Reservoir utilizing roller compacted concrete.

Taum Sauk is currently the largest RCC dam in the Western Hemisphere.

All 25 Newsmakers will be honored at a black-tie gala in New York City on April 7, where the winner of ENR’s highest honor, the Award of Excellence, will be announced.

Canyon Hydro to equip Boulder Canyon project

Canyon Hydro, a U.S. manufacturer of hydroelectric turbine systems, was selected by the City of Boulder, Colorado, to supply the powerhouse water-to-wire package for the 5-MW Boulder Canyon Hydro Modernization Project.

Some of the project funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which imposes strict guidelines for the use of goods manufactured in the United States.

Canyon Hydro is the only manufacturer of this turbine class that is entirely owned and operated in the U.S.

The project involves the replacement of a 100-year-old turbine system with a modern, more efficient system designed by Canyon Hydro.

The new Pelton-type turbine will be specifically designed for the unique requirements of the project, including special provisions to accommodate the existing penstock connections.

FERC seeks comments on new land use fee formula for hydro

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking comments on development of a new government land use fee formula for hydroelectric projects that would replace a formula that was overturned by a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Jan. 4 that FERC imposed updated – and significantly higher – land use fees without allowing notice and comments as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.

The court said the commission also improperly delegated the establishment of reasonable fees to other agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

In response, the commission issued a Notice of Inquiry on Feb. 17, calling for suggestions how to create an administratively practical formula that applies uniformly to all hydropower licensees, does not impose exorbitant costs on the commission, and reflects reasonably accurate land values.

FERC said a new fee methodology should: apply uniformly to all hydro licensees; avoid exorbitant administrative costs; not be subject to case-by-case review; reflect reasonably accurate land valuations; and avoid excessive compensation to the government that would increase power prices to consumers.

Emerson acquires Turbine Control Service Associates

Emerson acquired Pittsburgh-based Turbine Control Service Associates Inc., a leading independent provider of generator excitation control systems for hydropower plants.

The acquisition expands the breadth and depth of Emerson Process Management’s product portfolio for the global power generation market. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Turbine Control Service Associates helps power plant operators improve generator performance and reliability by replacing aging controls with systems that take advantage of newer technology.

Funds available for hydro in New York

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Public Service Commission announced that about $250 million is available to fund a broad range of renewable energy projects, including hydropower projects.

Supported by the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the funds will be awarded competitively through a solicitation released for electric generation projects using wind, hydroelectric, biomass or other clean-energy resources. Awards under this solicitation are expected to be announced in April.

Under the RPS program, NYSERDA has awarded funding on a competitive basis to 39 large-scale renewable electricity generators. These include 21 hydroelectric upgrades, three biomass facilities, one landfill biogas operation, and 14 wind farms.

FERC certifies production tax credits for five hydro projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certified incremental generation at five more hydroelectric projects in six states for renewable energy production tax credits.

Certification awarded for new trash rake at 24-MW Twin Falls

FERC approved on March 9 a request by Twin Falls Hydro Associates L.P. to certify incremental generation based on Twin Falls’ plan to install an automatic trash rake system at its 24-MW Twin Falls project on the South Fork Snoqualmie River in Washington. FERC certified Twin Falls’ annual historical baseline generation of 69,339 MWh. Based on modeling of generation after trash rake installation, FERC certified new annual generation of 70,596 MWh, an increase of 1.81 percent.

Runner replacement earns new certification for Clyde River

On March 2, FERC approved a request by Great Bay Hydro Corp. for certification of efficiency improvements at its 4.675-MW Clyde River project near Newport, Vt. The improvements resulted from installation of a new turbine runner for Unit 3 of Clyde River’s Newport development. FERC certified the Clyde River project’s annual historical baseline generation of 16,912 MWh and new annual generation of 17,388 MWh, an increase of 2.81 percent.

Commission again certifies new generation at 4.85-MW Gilman

The commission approved a request from hydro operator Ampersand Gilman Hydro LP for certification of incremental generation at the 4.85-MW Gilman hydroelectric project on the Connecticut River in Vermont and New Hampshire. FERC certified increased generation due to replacement of the turbine runner of Unit 4, which went on line in November 2010. FERC found Gilman has an annual historical generation baseline of 25,961 MWh and new annual generation of 28,167 MWh, an increase of 8.5 percent.

House units, station service upgraded for PTC at 230.75-MW Osage

FERC certified incremental generation for production tax credits at AmerenUE’s 230.75-MW Osage project in Missouri. AmerenUE reported efficiency improvements from the upgrade of two house units and the station service electrical system at Osage on the Osage River.

FERC found an annual historical generation baseline of 711,339 MWh and new annual generation of 721,914 MWh, an increase of 1.5 percent.

Runner replacements bring more credits for 710-MW Jocassee

FERC issued an order certifying incremental hydropower generation planned for the four-unit Jocassee pumped-storage station, part of the 867.6-MW Keowee-Toxaway project in South Carolina and North Carolina.

FERC found an annual historical generation baseline of 878,554 MWh and new annual generation of 906,540 MWh, an increase of 3.19 percent.

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