The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will add a third generating unit to the 10-MW Black Canyon Diversion Dam, potentially increasing the hydropower plant’s output capacity to 22.5 MW.
Reclamation said the additional generating unit will “take advantage of water that typically would go over the dam”, while also giving operation flexibility when one of the existing units is shut down for maintenance.
The project is expected to cost about US$53 million and will be funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).
By Rich Landers
Kokanee no longer pack enough influence to keep the U.S. Corps of Engineers from fluctuating water levels at Lake Pend Oreille during winter.
Since 1996, the lake level behind Albeni Falls Dam has generally – not always – been kept above elevation 2,055 feet to avoid dewatering the eggs kokanee deposit in shoreline gravels until the fish hatch and can swim away.
But despite years of research, the Idaho Fish and Game Department has not been able to positively show that maintaining higher winter levels results in better production from wild kokanee eggs, said Jim Fredericks, department regional fisheries manager.
That means the lake levels are likely to fluctuate between elevations of 2,055 and the minimum level of 2,051 feet this winter depending on weather and power demands. Read more
By Becky Kramer
Avista Corp. is moving into the Alaska market through the planned purchase of an electric utility serving the Juneau area.
In a deal announced Monday, Avista will acquire Alaska Electric Light and Power’s parent company through a $170 million stock transaction. The sale is expected to close by July 1, subject to regulatory approvals.
“It gives us a small utility in Juneau” whose power generation is nearly 100 percent renewable, said Jessie Wuerst, an Avista spokesman. Read more
By Christine Pratt
WENATCHEE — The Chelan County PUD’s top-priority repair has the powerhouse floor of Rocky Reach Dam looking something like a highly specialized yard sale.
Turbine blades, bronze bushings the size of ottomans, boxes filled with jumbo-sized nuts and bolts and other, far larger dam components with names that make sense only to engineers and hydromechanics are spread out for inspection.
Off to the side, a stout, pipe-like stainless steel rod some 30 inches in diameter and 12 feet long lies on its side displaying a hairline crack that has halted four of the dam’s 11 generators, cut the PUD’s generating capacity by a quarter, and set in motion an all-hands-on-deck effort to get the units spinning again.
“This is the most significant equipment problem we’ve seen,” Dan Garrison, the PUD’s hydro operation director, said Thursday from the powerhouse floor. Read more