Industry News

Owner to add 66 MW to 600-MW Bear Swamp

The licensee of the 600-MW Bear Swamp pumped-storage plant plans to add 66 MW of capacity through equipment upgrades to the plant, on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the expansion plan in an order amending the project operating license, held by Bear Swamp Power Co. LLC. The project features the 600-MW pumped-storage plant and a second plant, 10-MW Fife Brook.

Bear Swamp Power Co. LLC is a joint venture of Brookfield Renewable Power and Emera Inc.

Bear Swamp Power plans to replace both pump-turbine runners in the Bear Swamp development, increasing turbine output to 338 MW from 305 MW. Overhaul of each motor-generator is to increase output to 333 MW from 300 MW. No changes are proposed for Fife Brook.

Total hydraulic capacity of Bear Swamp would increase 14 percent to 6,200 cubic feet per second (cfs) from 5,430 cfs. Once all work is complete, total project capacity would be 676 MW.

Brookfield said it plans to increase capacity through maintenance, overhaul, and replacement activities involving the facility’s original equipment. FERC ruled that refurbishment of the turbine-generators and associated equipment must begin by Aug. 12, 2010, and be complete by Aug. 12, 2013.

Construction work begins at California water project

A joint venture of Ames Construction Inc. of Phoenix, Ariz., and Coffman Specialties Inc. of San Diego, Calif., is building an 8,000-acre-foot reservoir and conveyance system at the Bureau of Reclamation’s All American Canal Drop Structure No. 2 in California.

The joint venture is doing the work under a $98.3 million contract from Reclamation. The site is in Imperial County, Calif., 30 miles east of El Centro, Calif., and 25 miles west of Yuma, Ariz.

The new reservoir will provide space to conserve flows from Imperial Dam that are not captured in the lower Colorado River system. Capture of the water could reduce releases from 2,078-MW Hoover Dam and annually save 72,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water, Reclamation said.

The agency anticipates work will be completed by the end of August 2010.

The All American Canal System is part of the Boulder Canyon project. It consists of Imperial Dam and desilting works, 80-mile All American Canal, and 123-mile Coachella Canal. Imperial Irrigation District built hydro plants totaling 72.4 MW on the system at Pilot Knob and Drop Nos. 2, 3, and 4.

Cooperative proposes hydro for New York reservoirs

Delaware County Electric Cooperative plans to study the feasibility of building the 63-MW Catskills hydro project, four hydroelectric developments on Upstate New York reservoirs that supply water to New York City.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) accepted the cooperative’s application for a preliminary permit to study the project.

The cooperative’s proposal includes powerhouses at existing earthen dams and reservoirs:

    – 23.5-MW Schoharie, Schoharie Creek, 23.9 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annual generation;
    – 20.5-MW Cannonsville, West Branch Delaware River, 46.5 GWh;
    – 12.5-MW Pepacton, East Branch Delaware River, 16.7 GWh; and
    – 6.5-MW Neversink, Neversink River, 4 GWh.

New York City has filed a competing application to study a West of Hudson project.

VA Tech to supply equipment for new 60-MW Rainbow plant

VA Tech Hydro will supply equipment for the new 60-MW Rainbow powerhouse being built on the Missouri River as part of the 326.9-MW Missouri-Madison project in Montana.

VA Tech Hydro will supply, install, and commission the equipment, as specified in a $37.7 million water-to-wire contract awarded by the owner, PPL Montana.

PPL Montana’s board earlier in the year authorized $175 million to construct the new hydroelectric plant, which will replace an existing 35-MW Rainbow plant.

PPL Montana said it plans to begin building the new powerhouse in spring 2009. It will feature a single 60-MW turbine of an improved, “fish friendly” design, replacing eight units at the existing powerhouse.

Plans for the new powerhouse are included in PPL Montana’s license to operate Missouri-Madison, an eight-powerhouse project, through August 2040.

PPL Montana expects to put the plant in service in April 2011 on a hillside about 200 feet downstream of the existing powerhouse. The original powerhouse then will be closed.

Cofferdam work begins at three Ohio River projects

Contractors are designing and constructing cofferdams and preparing powerhouse foundations for three Ohio River hydroelectric projects totaling 191 MW.

American Municipal Power-Ohio Inc. (AMP-Ohio), which represents 119 municipal utilities in five states, named the contractors:

    – Kiewit Construction for 84-MW Cannelton at Cannelton Locks and Dam, near Cannelton, Ind.;
    – CJ Mahan Construction for 72-MW Smithland at Smithland Locks and Dam in Livingston County, Ky.; and
    – Ruhlin Construction for 35-MW Willow Island at Willow Island Locks and Dam near Waverly, W.Va.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the locks and dams where the powerhouses will be built. The projects are expected to go on line in 2012.

Low impact group certifies projects in three states

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) said it certified or recertified six projects in Maine, New York, and Washington as “low-impact” hydropower.

Table 1: Hydro Projects Recently Certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute Click here to enlarge image

Table 1 provides information on the projects selected. The projects all meet LIHI criteria for low-impact certification addressing: river flows; water quality; fish passage and protection; protection of watershed, threatened and endangered species, and cultural resources; recreation; and whether the dam has been recommended for removal.

The voluntary LIHI program is designed to help consumers identify environmentally sound, low-impact hydropower facilities for emerging “green” energy markets.

Since 2001, LIHI has certified more than three dozen projects, many with multiple powerhouses, that it says demonstrate minimal effects on fish and wildlife.

Firms oversee San Vicente dam heightening project

Joint venture partners Parsons and Black & Veatch are handling design review and construction management of a project to add 117 feet to the 220-foot-tall San Vicente Dam in Southern California.

San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) awarded a $28.5 million contract to the joint venture.

Design work will continue through 2009. Construction is scheduled to be complete in late 2012.

The dam heightening project is one component of the water authority’s massive $1.2 billion Emergency Storage Project, which is expected to provide up to six months of water if a natural disaster such as an earthquake cuts off the region’s imported water supplies.

The water authority board endorsed a $568 million proposal using roller-compacted concrete to increase the height of the concrete gravity structure. It expects to create 152,000 acre-feet of additional storage for emergency water supply and to increase reliability and flexibility of the region’s water supply.

U.S. awards four contracts for 2,078-MW Hoover

Four companies won contracts for the repair, remanufacture, or new supply of turbine-generator components for the Bureau of Reclamation’s 2,078-MW Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River in Arizona and Nevada.

The contracts are worth a total of up to $20 million over five years.

Reclamation selected: Hydro Power Services LLC of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Magnolia Metal Corp. of Omaha, Neb.; Precision Machine and Supply Inc. of Lewiston, Idaho; and Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation Inc. of York, Pa.

The agency’s Lower Colorado Region said components would include wicket gates, wear plates, engineered fasteners, retaining bolts, break-off screws, high strength coupling studs and nuts, and thrust bearing key bars. Work is to be performed at the contractors’ facilities, and components are to be shipped to the Hoover Dam warehouse.

Fixed-price delivery orders will be issued as required to recondition or purchase components.

Irrigation district awards contracts for 15-MW Arrowrock

Riverside Inc. is supplying two 7.5-MW turbines and generators to the 15-MW Arrowrock project proposed for a Bureau of Reclamation dam on the Boise River in Idaho.

Boise-Kuna Irrigation District awarded contracts for project work ahead of construction, including one to Mountain States Hydro LLC.

Mountain States, the prime contractor, is affiliated with Mountain States Construction Co., Sunnyside, Wash. It will construct the powerhouse at the base of an existing 353-foot-tall dam, connecting the powerhouse to outlet pipes that run through the dam.

While contractors contemplate completion in June 2010, the parties are working with schedules that call for early completion of the $41 million project in November 2009.

Schedules are well within a timeline identified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which said construction must begin by Dec. 13, 2009, and must be completed by Dec. 13, 2012.

The project is licensed to Boise-Kuna, Nampa & Meridian, New York, and Wilder irrigation districts in Idaho and Big Bend irrigation district in Oregon.

Clatskanie People’s Utility District, a retail electric utility in Oregon, has contracted to buy all project power, which it estimates will total 81,000 megawatt-hours per year.

California county to use hydro to fund water project

The Monterey County, Calif., Board of Supervisors plans to use money from the sale of electricity generated by the 4.4-MW Nacimiento hydro plant to help repay $35 million in revenue bonds for the Salinas Valley Water Project.

The Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) is to repay the bonds over 30 years from estimated revenues of $750,000 a year from sales of electricity generated by Nacimiento. The water agency also expects to use $1.08 million a year in assessments and $226,000 a year in taxes it already receives. In addition, MCWRA plans to use any fees collected from annexation of property for the Salinas County Water Project area to repay construction debt.

The Salinas Valley Water Project is expected to stop the intrusion of seawater, avert a maximum flood event at Nacimiento Dam, and recharge the Salinas River Basin. The project features two major components: modification of the spillway at Nacimiento Dam to improve seismic safety and flexibility for flood control; and installation of a rubber dam near Marina, which will divert Salinas River water during the non-rainy season for treatment and distribution to farms.

State and federal regulators require the 215-foot-tall, 1,630-foot-long earthfill dam to be modified so the spillway can release enough water during a large flood to ensure flood protection and dam safety.

Construction work began in April. Spillway work is to be completed by Sept. 30, 2009.

Reclamation awards generator overhaul for 94.5-MW Flatiron

National Electric Coil will perform generator overhaul work at the Bureau of Reclamation’s 94.5-MW Flatiron hydropower plant west of Loveland, Colo.

Under terms of a $9.9 million contract, National Electric Coil, Columbus, Ohio, will remove and replace windings and stator cores for two generators.

Flatiron began operations in 1954. Flatiron and the five other hydropower plants in the Colorado-Big Thompson project generate an average of 759 gigawatt-hours annually, Reclamation said. Colorado-Big Thompson also provides water to more than 725,000 people and 620,000 irrigated acres in northeastern Colorado.

Climate Registry formed to combat global warming

The Climate Registry, a non-profit organization, measures and publicly reports emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by its members, which include power plant owners.

The registry supports voluntary, mandatory, market-based, and emissions reduction programs that are consistent across borders and industries. It sets standards for the measurement, verification, and public reporting of greenhouse gas emissions throughout North America.

Thirty-nine states, the District of Columbia, three Native American tribes, six Canada provinces, and two states in Mexico established the Climate Registry.

Since its incorporation in 2007, more than 54 corporations, state and local governments, and other organizations have joined the Climate Registry.

Members have voluntarily committed to annually measure, independently verify, and publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions.

A complete list of members is available on the registry’s website: www.

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Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

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