Plans to finish fifth generator
Columbia Basin Herald
EPHRATA – Grant County PUD plans to finish its fifth generator upgrade at Wanapum Dam in August, likely increasing power production in 2010 for the Priese Rapids Projects.
Each generator represents 121 more megawatts of power, as compared to the current output of 103 megawatts, said Kathy Kiefer, a utility spokesperson.
The original generators are nearly 50 years old and were part of the dam’s construction in the 1960s.
There are plans to replace all 10 of the dam’s generators, with the expectation they will be installed by 2018.
Earlier this year, Grant PUD commissioners approved a roughly $150 million contract with Alstom Hydro US, Inc. to complete the upgrade work.
“The generator upgrades represent a sizable investment that insures Priest Rapids Project power will increase as we harness the potential of the new turbines,” stated Grant PUD Commission President Terry Brewer.
The installation work entails redesigning the turbines and its components.
The turbine improvements mean “smooth water flow conditions that boost power generation, improve water-use efficiency and has a fish passage survival rate of 97 percent,” according to a PUD statement.