NYPA Trustees Award Contract to Ferguson Electric for Work on Life Extension and Modernization Project at Lewiston Facility

Paul DeMichele
(914) 390-8186

August 1, 2012


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees on Tuesday approved a two-year, $5.6 million contract award to Ferguson Electric of Buffalo to assist in the Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) program at the Niagara Power Project’s Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant (LPGP). The LEM is designed to refurbish and modernize the facility, enhancing the pumped-storage project’s performance and extending its working life decades into the future.

The new contract will allow Ferguson to proceed with some of the wiring for various electrical components and other work at the LPGP site, including the installation of static exciters, generator circuit breakers, cable and pump-turbine unit instrumentation.

“The Power Authority is forging ahead on the refurbishment of its Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant, which operates as the hydroelectric project’s auxiliary facility, supplementing the substantial output of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant,” said Harry Francois, NYPA regional manager, Western New York. “Ferguson Electric has already been tasked with assisting NYPA in the upgrade of the facility, so its familiarity and professional expertise will only help to ease the process as we move along.”

“Investing in our region’s infrastructure is of utmost importance,” said Senator Timothy M. Kennedy. “The Life Extension and Modernization Program underway by NYPA will ensure that the Niagara Power Project will be able to produce low-cost hydropower for Western New York for generations to come. We’re thrilled a local firm will be taking up this important work, ensuring Western New York maintains access to low-cost power, a critical asset in efforts to boost job creation and economic development.”

“The work that the Power Authority is undertaking at their Niagara project’s auxiliary facility—the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant—will maximize the electricity output from the water harnessed by the project to ensure that this clean generating facility continues to provide reliable service for decades ahead,” said Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “NYPA’s work on these upgrades acts as an investment in the future of Western New York.”

The trustees’ action marks the second time this year that NYPA has contracted with Ferguson Electric for work on the LPGP. In June, the board approved a nearly $1.6 million contract award to the Buffalo firm for the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of electrical equipment and related components scheduled to be delivered later this year. In addition, the NYPA trustees approved a nearly $4 million contract to Ferguson Electric in March 2011 for the installation of the new generator step-up transformers, also in support of the Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant LEM.

In June 2010, the NYPA trustees approved the investment of $460 million for the 10-year LEM program, which will include major upgrades to all 12 pump-turbines and the replacement of generator step-up transformers. The transformers date back to 1961 when the Niagara project went into service. Today’s contract award to Ferguson is part of the trustees’ overall expenditure authorization from 2010.

The upgrades of the pump-turbine units will start in December and the unit work will occur under a schedule providing for the overhaul of a pump-turbine every eight to nine months, with the final unit completed in 2020. The phased-in schedule provides for 11 of the 12 LPGP units to be available for operation during the LEM so that NYPA can meet its commitments to its power-supply customers.

Pumped-storage facilities like the LPGP store water as potential energy during off-peak hours for later use when demand is higher. The principal benefits are retiming of generation and providing the ability to quickly respond to changes in customer demand.

In 2006, NYPA completed a $24 million maintenance program at LPGP in the same year that it finished a $298 million, 15-year program to upgrade the Niagara project’s Robert Moses plant, where the Power Authority replaced turbines and retrofitted other components of all 13 generating units.

Together, LPGP and the Moses plant combine for a net dependable capability of 2,441 mw, making the Niagara project the largest generating facility in the state and one of the largest in the country.       

LPGP is one of two major pumped storage facilities in New York State—the other being the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project, another NYPA facility. In May 2010, the Authority completed a four-year overhaul of that facility, in the northern Catskills.

About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.■It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■For more information,

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