L&S Electric, of Wisconsin, US, has been awarded a US$5.7M contract by the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) for the modernisation of hydroelectric generating units at Hoover, Davis, and Parker dams on the lower Colorado river.

The modernisation will consist of upgrading the governors, protective relays, and unit control equipment on 26 hydroelectric generators at the three dams. All of the equipment that will be modernised has been in service for more than 20 years.

‘The value of the hydroelectric resources at Hoover, Davis, and Parker Dams will increase as a result of these improvements. Modernising this equipment results in economic benefits which justify proceeding with this work,’ said Acting Commissioner William Rinne.

The project will include replacing mechanical and analog control equipment with new digital technology. One of the benefits of this modernisation is that the hydro generators at the dams will be able to respond more precisely and efficiently to electrical system demands after the work is complete.

The work under this contract, including the commissioning of new equipment on the first 10 units at Hoover dam, is scheduled to be completed in February 2009. The installation and commissioning of the new equipment supplied under this contract for the remaining 16 units will be completed by USBR in February 2012.