New York Power Authority's
Blenheim-Gilboa Project Resumes Power Production
November 9, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GILBOA—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) returned
its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project to service on Nov.
6—a week ahead of schedule—following the completion of preliminary
work for upgrading one of the project’s four pump-turbine generating
The upgrade is part of a four-year Life Extension
and Modernization (LEM) Program for replacement of major mechanical
and electrical components of the generating units, and maintenance
and repairs of virtually all other parts.
“The Blenheim-Gilboa project has been a significant
part of the New York Power Authority’s clean energy portfolio since
1973,” said Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive
officer. “The Life Extension and Modernization Program that our
project engineering team is spearheading will maximize the
efficiency of this key hydroelectric facility, while helping to
ensure its long-term value as a source of reliable, economical
electricity for the people of New York State.”
Three of the four pump-turbine generating units
resumed power production after the Power Authority refilled the
project’s upper reservoir atop Brown Mountain. The reservoir had
been drained to permit replacement of a spherical valve that
controls the flow of water into the powerhouse. The project had
been shut down since Sept. 21. The pump-turbine unit currently being
upgraded is scheduled to be returned to service by June 2008 in time
for the peak summer demand season, when the Blenheim-Gilboa
project’s full generating output is most crucial.
This is the second pump-turbine generator to
undergo refurbishing. Last year, the Power Authority completed work
on the first unit under a similar work schedule. The temporary
shutdown of the facility in September 2006 to replace a spherical
valve was followed by the return to service of three of four
pump-turbine generators several weeks later and the fourth unit in
late May. The work on the remaining two pump-turbine generators will
be undertaken in the same manner over successive years, with the
$135 million LEM program scheduled to be completed in June 2010.
The Blenheim-Gilboa project is a special type of
hydroelectric project that operates like a giant storage battery.
During peak demand periods, when alternate sources of electricity
are more expensive, thousands of gallons of water are released from
the upper reservoir, plunging 1,043 feet within Brown Mountain to
power the pump-turbine generators, before flowing into a lower
reservoir on Schoharie Creek. At night and on weekends, when demand
is lower, the pump-turbine generators are reversed and water is
pumped back to the upper reservoir, using economical electricity
from other sources.
■ NYPA 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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating
facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400
circuit-miles of transmission lines.
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