Alstom Renewable wins order to upgrade McNary Dam hydro project in US

WCN Editorial Team 27 Mar 2018 NORTH AMERICA ENERGY & UTILITIES

Alstom Renewable US, a unit of General Electric, has won a contract worth $321.3m from the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District to replace 14 turbines at the 980MW McNary Lock and Dam in Oregon, US.

The McNary Dam is a multi-purpose project commissioned in 1954. The dam includes a powerhouse featuring fourteen 70,000kW hydroelectric generator units.

At full capacity, powerhouse of the McNary is designed to supply electricity required to power for about 686,000 homes.

The contract follows three years of research, planning, design and acquisition to replace the existing turbine runners and associated ancillary equipment at the McNary Dam hydro project.

Under the contract, Alstom Renewable will design, manufacture and install 14 turbines and replace the old units.

The 14 main unit turbines at the dam are expected to continue operations on average for another seven years and until the new turbines are installed and commissioned.

The contract is a part of the re-capitalisation and modernisation plan being carried out at the dam to increase fish survival, hydraulic capacity, turbine efficiency operational flexibility as well as enhance turbine operations reliability.

Walla Walla District Commander Lieutenant Colonel Damon Delarosa said: “The re-capitalization effort at McNary Lock and Dam is one of my top priorities for 2018.

“Once completed, the improvements recognized from this project for reliability, operational flexibility and fish passage will be substantial and measurable. We look forward to working with Alstom Renewable Energy on this critical infrastructure effort in the coming months and years.”

As part of the contract, Alstom will install the two turbine components at a time over the course of seven to eight years at the dam. Work under the contract is planned to be completed in approximately 14 years.

US Army Corps project manager Shawn Nelson said: “Alstom will work collaboratively with the Corps of Engineers through an iterative design process to develop the new runners and associated equipment.

“Engineers and biologists from the Walla Walla District, the Corps of Engineer’s Hydro-Electric Design Center (HDC) in Portland, Oregon, and the Corps’s Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi, will support this design process, progressing from computer-based models to physical modelling.”

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