Pend Oreille Public Utility District No. 1, in Newport, Wash., says it has awarded a $69 million contract to Andritz VA Tech Hydro, of Charlotte, N.C., to replace the turbines and do other related work at the districts Box Canyon Dam on the Pend Oreille River.
Eileen Dugger, the districts contracts and public information administrator, says the turbines will be fabricated off site and transported to the dam, where a team of engineers and staff members from Andritz VA Tech Hydro will complete the installation.
She says its unlikely that any local subcontractors will be hired for the big project.
The first turbine is scheduled to be installed in 2009-2010, and the other three will follow in consecutive years.
The upgrade is expected to increase the peak generation capacity of the 60-megawatt dam by 18 megawatts, the PUD says.
When the district began its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing in 2000, the estimated cost of the upgrade was $17 million.
Dugger says some rate increases will be associated with the upgrade, but its unclear yet how much rates will go up or when.
The turbine replacement will include upgrading associated components, such as replacing the original vertical turbine runners, or blades, with fish friendly versions; rewinding the generators; and other improvements to reduce negative impacts to fish by allowing increased water flows to reduce dissolved gas.
The Box Canyon project consists of a 160-foot-long, 45-foot-high concrete dam; a nearby powerhouse containing four 15,000-kilowatt generators; a 217-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped diversion tunnel; a forebay channel thats about 1,200 feet long and 60 feet wide; and a 42-foot-long auxiliary spillway. The reservoir behind the dam to the south is nearly 56 miles long and encompasses nearly 9,000 acres.
The facility serves about 8,500 Pend Oreille County customers, including the PUDs biggest customer, Ponderay Newsprint Co., which consumes about 80 percent of the power consumed at the dam.
The power generated by the dam is supplemented by power the PUD purchases from Spokane-based Avista Corp.; Seattle City Light, which operates nearby Boundary Dam; and other regional suppliers.
Dugger says the upgrades should be completed in 2013.
Contact Jeanne Gustafson at (509) 344-1264 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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