The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

$7.2 million contract awarded


The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $7.2 million contract to Gardner Zemke Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to replace the switchgear for six pump-generators at the John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant, a part of the “Grand Coulee Power Complex,” the Bureau of Reclamation said in a press release.

Replacing the switchgear begins a 20-year modernization project at the plant. The project, is funded through Bonneville Power Administration, South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District, East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and Congressional appropriations. It is scheduled to be finished by June, 2017.

The pump-generating units were installed from 1973 to 1984.

“Upgrading and replacing aging equipment in the pumping plant will ensure reliable irrigation delivery to Reclamation’s largest irrigation project,” said Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez. “It will also help support the Columbia Basin Project’s significant economic impact of producing more than 90 crops that are distributed both locally and internationally.”

A worker was critically injured and the entire plant was shut down for several months in 2013 and 2014 after a fire that damaged the aging switchgear.

The principal components of work include furnishing and installing new 13.8 kV unit switchgear assemblies for pump-generator units 7-12, including cubicles, as-insulated power circuit breakers, disconnect (including ground) switches and instrument transformers.

Other work will include furnishing and installing conductors and conduit for power and control circuits, furnishing spare parts, drawings and data, training staff in operation and maintenance of new equipment, and factory and field testing of new equipment.

Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, is as multi-purpose facility and a key feature of Reclamation’s Columbia Basin Project It is the largest power producer in the U.S at an average of 20 billion kWh annually The John Keys III Pump-Generating Plant, located next to the dam, provides irrigation water to about 670,000 acres of farmland in the Columbia Basin It has a hydroelectric generating capacity of 314 megawatts and has been in operation since the early 1950s. The plant contain six pumps and six pump-generators.

You might be interested in:

Reader Comments