The US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation has awarded GE Power Systems a US$3.8M contract for a generator refurbishment project at the Grand Coulee power plant in Washington State.

Located at Grand Coulee dam on the Columbia river, the hydro plant is the largest power production facility in North America, generating an average of 21TWh annually.

GE will supply two identical 125 MVA, 13.8 kV generator stator cores and windings for the refurbishment project. The equipment will be built at ge-hydro in Québec, Canada, and will begin shipping to site in January 2003. Installation by GE Installation and Repair Service of Salt Lake City, Utah, is expected to be completed by the start of the third quarter of 2003. The unit is scheduled to be returned to commercial operation by February 2004.

In another, concurrent project at Grand Coulee for the Bureau of Reclamation, GE is also replacing 18 Francis turbine runners at the left and right power houses. This project is scheduled for completion in 2007.

Construction of Grand Coulee dam, the centerpiece of the Columbia basin project, begun in 1934 and was completed in 1942. The power houses, with nine generator units each, were put into service between 1941 and 1950 and are used as peaking facilities by Bonneville Power Administration.

Meanwhile Statkraft of Norway has awarded the largest turbine upgrade contract in the company’s history to GE Hydro for the refurbishment of five of its hydro power plants. The project covers 770MW of capacity and is valued at US$11.9M.

This is the most extensive turbine modernisation project to date for Oslo-based Statkraft, which owns about 30% of the country’s electric power production capacity, all of which is hydro-based. The upgrades are to be completed successively beginning in the fall of 2003 and continuing through to the end of 2005.

Under the terms of the contract, GE Hydro will upgrade and refurbish a total of ten Pelton turbines at Statkraft’s Aura North, Aura South, Høyanger, Mauranger and Mår hydro power plants. The turbines include both horizontal and vertical units. The project scope includes the design, model testing, engineering, installation and commissioning of new runners and refurbishment of existing parts. Efficiency improvements from the upgrades are expected to range from 1-3% at maximum output.

Equipment for the project is expected to begin shipping in the middle of 2003 and will continue through 2005.