The Seven Hydroelectric Power Plants in the United States and Their Proposed Modenization (continuation)
Alcoa, Inc- An estimated $13 million will be used to replace 4 ninety-year-old Francis Turbines in Alcoa’s Tapoco Cheoah plant located in Robbinsville, N.C. The expected increase in renewable energy of 95,000 MWh will provide additional generating capacity of 22 MW. Replacements will include 4 new high-efficiency stainless steel turbines, transformers and generators since the upgrading intends not only to generate more energy but also to replace its present system of water cooled transformers which will decrease the risks of oil spills in the river. The presence of lead and asbestos currently existing in the 4 generating units will also be eliminated.
As an update, Alcoa, Inc. kicked-ff with the $110 million modernization project at Cheoah Dam Modernization Project on August 27, 2010. this project is expected to increase the dam’s efficiency and energy output for the next forty to fifty years.
City of Tacoma, Department of Public Utilities- The local government will receive about $4.67 million to fund a project that will add two units of 1.8 MW Francis Turbines to the 81 MW Cushman No. 2 Dam located in Potlatch, Washington. About 23,500 MWh of additional annual generation is expected from this project. The undertaking will include the integration of a fish collection pool above the existing dam as a new habitat for the native fish that had avoided the area since 1920.
The City of Boulder, Colorado — The city will receive about $1.18 million in government funding to modernize the century old Boulder Canyon Hydroelectric Project. A single high-efficiency turbine will replace two old turbine units to enable the hydroelectric power plant to have a wider range of water flow that will result to increased power generation by 11,000 MWh or 30% of its present capacity. The area will like wise benefit from the upgrading projects as asbestos removal will eliminate the presence of environmental hazards.
Update about Boulder Cty's hydroelectric modernization project - On October 08, 2010, the city opened this government project for public bidding.
Energy Northwest — An $800,000 project to add a high technology Pelton Wheel Turbine to Packwood Lake Hydroelectric in Packwood, Washington will be undertaken to generate a 6% increase of about 5,868 MWh at lower costs in terms of operations. The project is also expected to provide a more sustainable downstream habitat for the local fish population.
Update: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the Packwood Lake Hydroelectric Project the renewal of its license in early 2010; hence, the modernization project is expected to be completed by the later part of 2011.
The Incorporated County of Los Alamos, N.M will receive $4.56 million in government funding to improve the existing 13.8 MW hydroelectric plant in Abiquiu, N.M by adding low-flow turbine that will increase the capacity of the power plant to generate additional 3 MW or equivalent to an annual increase of 6,462 MWh in renewable energy. This augments the capability of the hydroelectric power plants when dam releases are below the requirements of the two existing turbines. The addition of the state-of-the –art turbine is expected to improve the minimum flows.
North Little Rock Electric Department- The 39 MW hydroelectric facilities along the Arkansas River, at Little Rock, Arkansas will receive $450,000 to upgrade the hydroelectric facility by installing an Automated Intake Maintenance Device. This will free the river area from obstructions that hamper the facility’s intakes and eliminate the high costs of dredging. The improvement will now allow the power plant to operate with more efficiency.
The calls for cleaner energy in order to slow down global warming are now getting the long awaited responses through these upgrading projects. The selection of the seven hydroelectric power plants in the United States, were based on their ability to increase electrical power generation carbon free. The full operation of these renewable sources of energy will reduce carbon emissions by more than 110,000 tons per year owing to the improvement of their hydroelectric power generations.