Chelan County PUD
Rock Island Hydro Dam Wash 800

GE Contracted to Rehab Columbia River Hydro Plant

Dec. 23, 2020
A project to update eight hydroelectric turbine units will incorporate an oil-free design that will extend service life for 40 years.

GE Renewable Energy has a new Design Build Agreement (DBA) with a Washington State public utility, Chelan County PUD, to begin the rehab process for eight hydroelectric generators that are part of the Rock Island Dam near Wenatchee, Wash., the first dam to span the Columbia River.

“These units were installed in the late 1970s and have run trouble-free for the most part,” stated John Sagerser, engineering and project manager at Rock Island Dam. “They have a 40-year design life and they are beginning to show signs of wear. Rock Island Powerhouse 2 is a critical part of the District’s programs to minimize environmental impacts in such areas as fish passage and total dissolved gas.”

The target for the Powerhouse 2 rehabilitation is to maintain the overall plant equipment reliability for the next 40 years using innovative and environment-friendly solutions.

As part of the rehab, GE Renewable Energy will provide a new, “oil-free runner solution,” which the developer stated will eliminate the risk of oil leaking into water passing through the runners.

GE’s new design is expected to be delivered soon, with rehab work on the eight generating units to begin in 2022, for completion by 2030.

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