Industry News

U.S. awards transformer contract to Gardner Zemke

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation awarded New Mexico-based Gardner Zemke Company a $12.3 million contract to replace 15 transformers in the Left and Right power plants of the 6,809-MW Grand Coulee hydroelectric project.

The 6,809-MW Grand Coulee hydropower project is located on the Columbia River, about 90 miles west of Spokane, Wash.

Under the current contract, the agency seeks replacement of transformers of units G1-G9, including furnishing and installing 15 single-phase, two-winding, 13.6-kilovolt-235-kV, 50-megavolt ampere, water-cooled transformers and appurtenances in the Left and Right power plants.

Tainter gate repair contract awarded for Dexter Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded an $11.15 million contract to Washington-based Knight Construction & Supply Inc. for repair of spillway tainter gates at 15-MW Dexter dam and hydro project on the Willamette River in Oregon.

Dexter Dam is one of 13 dams in northwestern Oregon’s Willamette River Basin, including eight hydroelectric projects operated by the Corps.

The Corps’ Portland District seeks repairs to two 50-ton tainter gates. Work is to include replacement of the entire end frame arm assembly and fabrication of new trunnions, as well as replacement of wire ropes, bridge sockets, U-bolts, pins, gate connection and all related items.

FERC permits sought to study five Oklahoma projects

Tomlin Infrastructure Group, through limited-purpose subsidiaries, filed applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for preliminary permits to study development of five pumped-storage projects in Oklahoma totaling 3,840 MW.

Preliminary permits, which are issued for up to three years, maintain priority of application for a hydropower license while the permittee studies the site and makes financial arrangements necessary to apply for a license.

Each project would include upper and lower reservoirs connected by reinforced concrete tunnel penstocks and powerhouses. The applicants said location of connection points to the transmission grid would be established by the Southwest Power Pool after a grid study.

U.S. awards ABB exciter contract for Libby Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded ABB Inc. a $2.4 million contract for replacement of five excitation systems at 525-MW Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana.

The Corps seeks design, supply and installation of five excitation systems at Libby, including removal of existing static exciters, repairing the concrete floor and installing and testing new units. New units are to include automatic voltage regulators, power system stabilizers and power potential transformers.

FERC certifies tax credits for projects in several states

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

Newly licensed 6.5-MW Expanded Kansas project wins certification

FERC certified incremental generation at the 6.5-MW Expanded Kansas River project (No. 13526) in Kansas. FERC recently licensed the small hydro project on the Kansas River in only six months, one of several expedited licensings of small projects.

Licensee Bowersock Mills and Power Co. requested PTC certification based on the newly licensed addition of a north powerhouse, to contain four turbine-generators totaling 4.397 MW. Bowersock Mills Dam, which has generated electricity since 1905, has an existing south powerhouse containing seven units totaling 2.14 MW.

FERC certifies additional improvements to 28.8-MW London/Marmet

The commission also approved requests by hydro operator Appalachian Power Co. to certify incremental generation at the two developments of the 28.8-MW London/Marmet project on the Kanawha River in Kanawha County, W.Va.

In June 30 and July 1 filings, Appalachian Power said it upgraded Unit 3 of its 16.099-MW London development and Unit 3 of its 12.7-MW Marmet development, returning them to service in May 2008 and May 2010. FERC certified other incremental generation at Marmet for tax credits in 2008.

Additional PTC certification won by 34.4-MW Gulf Island-Deer Rips

FERC also certified incremental generation for an upgrade of Unit 1 at the 34.4-MW Gulf Island-Deer Rips project on the Androscoggin River in Maine.

The commission previously certified incremental generation for a similar refurbishment of Gulf Island-Deer Rips Unit 2. Licensee FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC replaced the units’ runners and rewound the generators.

Commission certifies new generation at 4.85-MW Gilman

The commission also approved the request of 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.

Ampersand Gilman said it completed four efficiency improvement projects since it took operational control of the Gilman project in August 2008. It sought certification of efficiency improvements for 2008 and 2009.

Puget seeks tax grant for new 30-MW plant at 170-MW Baker River

Puget Sound Energy has filed an application with FERC for certification of the incremental generation that will result from a new 30-MW powerhouse at its 170.03-MW Baker River hydroelectric project on the Baker River in northwest Washington.

FERC relicensed the Baker River project in 2008, authorizing the new powerhouse and granting the utility another 50 years to operate the project. PSE this year completed a new fish hatchery and upstream trap-and-haul facility on the Baker River as part of the relicensing conditions for the two-dam project.

Instead of seeking certification for a production tax credit, PSE asked FERC for a tax grant in lieu of the PTC, as allowed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Additional certification sought for 456-MW Noxon Rapids

Licensee Avista Utilities has asked FERC to certify incremental generation for a PTC from the upgrade of Unit 3 at its 456-MW Noxon Rapids hydroelectric development in Montana.

Noxon Rapids, on Clark Fork River, is one of two plants in Avista’s Clark Fork project. The other, 265-MW Cabinet Gorge, is about 20 miles downstream. FERC certified incremental generation at Noxon Rapids Unit 1 in January.

The licensee seeks a production tax credit for efficiency improvements from replacing Unit 3’s turbine runner with a new high-efficiency runner. Avista is spending $35 million to upgrade Noxon Rapids.

PTC certification sought for 2-MW Elk Creek

Exemptee El Dorado Hydro asked FERC on Sept. 8 to certify incremental generation resulting from the replacement of a turbine runner at the 2-MW Elk Creek hydroelectric project on Elk Creek, a tributary of Idaho’s Little Salmon River.

El Dorado, a unit of Enel North America Inc., said it replaced the existing unit in January. It calculated the project’s annual historical generation baseline at 3.7 million kWh, with incremental generation of 153,045 kWh, an increase of 4.1 percent.

Hitachi wins equipment contract for Lewiston plant

Hitachi Power Systems America, Ltd., a unit of Hitachi America, Ltd., won a 10-year contract from the New York Power Authority for replacing and modifying major components of the 240-MW Lewiston Pump Generating Plant’s pump-turbine units.

As part of the Life Extension and Modernization Program, Hitachi will replace parts of the 12 pump-turbine units and associated equipment, which date back to 1961, to extend the life of the hydroelectric facility and enhance its performance. launches Twitter, Facebook pages

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Agreement reached for relicensing of Boundary Dam project

The City of Seattle will pay $19 million to Pend Oreille County over the next 10 years to relicense the Boundary Dam hydropower project, which generates 40 percent of the power for Seattle City Light.

The deal, recently approved by the city council, is a compromise to end a two-year dispute. Commissioners in the county in northeast Washington initially asked for $30 million. City Light offered about $15 million. About $3 million will go to help build a school in Metaline Falls, wire services reported.

Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said: “Boundary Dam is an essential part of our power portfolio. It was important to all of us, especially our ratepayers and the residents of Pend Oreille County, to reach agreement.”

NHA accepting applications for OSAW awards

The National Hydropower Association has announced the 2011 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award (OSAW) Call for Awards. Applications for the 2011 award cycle are due Dec. 15, 2010.

NHA presents the OSAW awards to organizations for initiatives that deserve special national recognition in the categories of:

– operational excellence

– public education

– and environmental, recreational or historical enhancement

Visit NHA’s Web site,, to download the OSAW application.

If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact NHA’s Kathryn Steele at

Anderson wins registration to HydroVision International 2011

Wade Anderson, P.E., an engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Tulsa, Okla., district, will be one of thousands of hydropower professionals attending HydroVision International 2011 in Sacramento, Calif.

Anderson was a door-prize winner at the Association of State Dam Safety Officials’ Dam Safety 2010 event, held recently in Seattle, Wash., and received free registration to HydroVision International 2011, scheduled for July 19-22. More than 2,500 hydropower professionals are expected to attend the four-day event. HydroVision will feature a busy exhibition floor populated by the world’s biggest players in the hydropower industry and technical presentations by leading experts.

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