THE US$6M REBUILD and life extension of SaskPower’s Nipawin hydroelectric plant Unit 3 was completed in December. The work on Unit 3 was undertaken as the second phase in a three-year, US$18M overhaul of the plant’s three turbines and generators. Unit 1 was completed in 2003 and Unit 2 is to be rebuilt in 2005. The rebuild work is expected to lengthen the plant’s projected life and reduce maintenance requirements. Up until now, each unit was taken out of service annually for service.

When this project is completed, the unit’s maintenance cycles will be reduced to once every three years. As with Unit 1 project, Hitachi Canadian Industries, rebuilt the turbine runner for Unit 3 in its Saskatoon facility. Saskatchewan workers performed the majority of the on-site work. Located on the Saskatchewan river just west of Nipawin, the Nipawin hydro plant’s three units have a combined generating capacity of 255MW. The first 85MW unit was commissioned in 1985, and the two additional 85MW units were commissioned in 1986.