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NYPA to invest $1.1 billion into upgrade of Niagara Power Project

  • 9 months ago (2019-08-01)
  • David Flin
Hydropower 30 North America 831

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has announced that it will invest $1.1 billion in a modernisation programme at the Niagara Power Project, the state’s largest producer of electricity. Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO of the NYPA, said that the 15-year commitment is the largest single investment in the authority’s history.

NYPA owns the Lewiston facility, the second most productive hydropower plant in the USA. Lewiston was opened in 1961, but the plant equipment is in need of replacement and upgrading. Some of it has never been replaced.

The New York state Governor, Andrew Cuomo, said in a statement that the project will help the state meet its plans to transition to a carbon-free energy system throughout New York by 2040.

The project is intended to reduce the chance of a catastrophic failure, and will be carried out without taking the plant out of service. The project will include:

  • Replacing many of the system controls originally installed when the plant opened in 1961.
  • Refurbishing the penstocks carrying water to the generators.

NYPA will fund the project using cash reserves and tax-exempt bonds. The first phase of the work will begin later this year. State Group was awarded a $69 million, 14-year contract for work on the power plant’s penstocks. The contract covers construction of a temporary platform that will give workers access to the penstocks, as well as refurbishing the first three tubes. Contracts to refurbish the other ten tubes will be awarded in future years.

Burns & McDonnell won a $134 million, 14-year contract to supply equipment for the new integrated digital controls.

In addition, a new backup control room will be built, along with refurbishment of the site’s 630-ton crane.