Industry News

Andritz Hydro wins contract for generator rewinds at McNary

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $64 million contract to Andritz Hydro to rewind ten generators at McNary Lock and Dam on Oregon’s Columbia River. Work on the 980-MW plant is expected to be completed in 2014, as two installations will be completed each year over the next five years. The work will involve Units 1 through 4 and 7 through 12.

Among other activities, Andritz will design, manufacture, and deliver stator bars and accessories; disassemble and reassemble generators; remove old stator coils; and install and test new stator windings and accessories. The company also will remove old turbine shaft sleeves and install new shaft sleeves on each unit; furnish, install, and test new switches, temperature read-outs, and automatic control of unit heaters for ten units; and remove and dispose of existing rotating exciters.

Hydropower allocation triggers New York plant expansion

The New York Power Authority agreed to provide 4 MW of low-cost hydropower to Metaullics Systems, a move that could create 48 new jobs at the company’s plant in Sanborn, N.Y.

The low-cost hydropower will support a $19 million expansion of the Sanborn plant and will boost the production of processed graphite, a material used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

“This is a marvelous opportunity to support the significant contributions of a company that through this expansion will play a vital role in the production of advanced lithium batteries for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric vehicles,” said Richard Kessel, NYPA’s president and chief executive officer.

Kevin Scott, Metaullics’ operations manager, said the allocation of low-cost hydropower is the chief reason for expansion at the Sanborn plant instead of others owned by Metaullics’ parent company, Spokane, Wash.-based Pyrotek.

“The low-cost power demonstrates New York State’s recognition of the value of this enterprise for adding jobs in western New York and for helping to advance a highly efficient battery technology for the mass production of electric-drive vehicles,” Scott said.

Metaullics is adding 72,600 square feet of manufacturing space to its Sanborn plant. The company received $11.3 million in federal stimulus funds to help finance the expansion. The money is part of a $2.4 billion allocation by the U.S. Department of Energy for accelerating the development of electric-drive vehicles.

HDR receives contract for engineering services

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $9.5 million contract to HDR Engineering Inc. to support the hydroelectric powerhouse and high-voltage switchyard engineering and design activities of its Northwestern Division.

Services will include engineering and design for the replacement, rehabilitation, or upgrade of major hydroelectric powerhouse and high-voltage switchyard equipment. That equipment could include generators, turbines, governors, exciters, transformers, and circuit breakers. The company also will provide similar services for auxiliary electrical and mechanical equipment, and for structural and civil components and systems used in hydro powerhouses and pumping plants.

District eyes two hydro projects in northern California

Two small hydropower projects may be built in northern California’s El Dorado County to serve customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The El Dorado Irrigation District included funding for the design of both projects in its 2009-2013 capital-improvement budget. The district expects to earn at least $400,000 a year from the two projects, which would begin commercial production in 2011.

Both projects – Pleasant Oak Main and El Dorado Main 2 – were identified in a year-long study of sites suitable for hydropower generation, the district said. Pleasant Oak Main is estimated to generate 2,320 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually, and El Dorado Main is estimated to generate 1,740 MWh.

“In looking at financing costs, regulatory requirements, and other criteria, it became clear that these two projects are the most viable,” said Cindy Megerdigian, the district’s engineering manager for water and hydropower.

District President George Wheeldon said he expects the payback on both projects to be “relatively short.” Once both projects are state certified as “clean power,” PG&E will guarantee the district a price for the power produced for 20 years. During periods of peak usage, the price could double, the district said. Annual revenue for Pleasant Oak Main is estimated to be $265,000 and $187,000 for El Dorado Main.

“The annual revenue is based on the PG&E Feed-in Tariff program that currently has a Mark Price Referent of $0.1173 per kilowatt-hour with a peaking factor of 2.01 for a 20-year contract starting in 2011, which is when our projects are anticipated to begin producing,” Megerdigian said.

Flow Science signs agreement with Green Twirl

Flow Science Inc. entered into an agreement with Green Twirl Energy Ltd. to provide computational fluid dynamics consultancy services to the water resource engineering industry. Under the deal, Flow Science will also provide consultancy services to the alternative fuels, power generation, and environmental pollution industries.

Flow Science, headquartered in New Mexico, specializes in transient, free-surface flow modeling software for industrial and scientific applications worldwide. Green Twirl, of Ontario, Canada, develops process-design, simulation, and optimization solutions that maximize efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and create the smallest possible footprint. Flow Science has distributors for FLOW-3D sales and support in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Spectra Tech wins contract to support hydro projects in Southeast

Engineering firm Spectra Tech Inc. of Oak Ridge, Tenn., will provide technical support to several hydropower units in the Southeast under a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps’ district office in Mobile, Ala., awarded the contract using funds allocated by the American Recovery Act. As part of this contract, Spectra will provide support for environmental reviews, value-engineering reviews, and environmental plan reviews.

The Corps’ South Atlantic Division oversees 33 multipurpose projects, which are used to generate electricity, provide water supplies, and control flooding.

U.S. clean renewables bonds to fund unit overhaul at 2.9-MW Boatlock

Holyoke Gas & Electric Co. is using a $2.5 million financing package provided by the federal government’s Clean Renewable Energy Bond program to overhaul a 500-kW turbine-generator at its 2.9-MW Boatlock Station hydroelectric plant.

On-site construction is underway at Boatlock Station with disassembly of the unit, which was installed in 1921. Although rated at 500 kW, the unit was operating at about 200 kW, Holyoke Gas & Electric Manager James Lavelle said. The overhaul is expected to be completed in June or July 2010, and will improve unit efficiency and increase capacity to 750 kW.

The overhaul includes installation of a new vertical Kaplan turbine manufactured by Czech equipment supplier Mavel a.s. that will replace a Francis turbine. Boatlock is Mavel’s first U.S. project. Other contractors and subcontractors include Waterline Industries Corp., of Seabrook, N.H., which is to remove old mechanical equipment and install new equipment. Olson Electric Development Co. Inc., Methuen, N.H., will provide the electrical control system. Hydro Consulting & Maintenance Services, Rotonda, Fla., holds a subcontract for hydraulic component work.

The overhaul is expected to cost about $3 million, about $500,000 more than originally estimated, the utility said. Holyoke operates 32 turbine-generators, including three at Boatlock Station, one of six powerhouses in the 43.8-MW Holyoke hydropower project.

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds allow public power systems to issue tax credit bonds to finance qualified energy projects. Boatlock was among government hydro projects approved in an initial CREB allocation, according to PeoplesBank, which helped the utility obtain financing.

Bonds are offered to entities that are not eligible for tax credits: state, local, and tribal governments; public power providers; and electric cooperatives.

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