NYPA TO EXHIBIT AN ORIGINAL RUNNER AS VISITORS CENTER ATTRACTION: 90-Ton Turbine Blade Lifted Into Position Thursday
January 28, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH BLENHEIM– The Power Authority’s Visitor Center inherited a piece of history from the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project today when one of the plant’s original runners, or turbine blades—a major component of the plant’s four turbine generating units, was placed on a special foundation for public display.
A new, custom- designed, 90-ton, 20-foot wide runner arrived at the Blenheim-Gilboa project on Wednesday to replace one at the power plant with similar dimensions. Removed from the power house several weeks ago, the original runner travelled to the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center Thursday morning and was lifted by crane onto a concrete base on the grounds of the visitors center.
Replacement of the plant’s four turbine runners with a new higher efficiency design is a major part of the Blenheim-Gilboa project’s four-year Life Extension and Modernization Program (LEM) and the most significant factor in increasing the maximum capacity of each of the plant’s four turbine generators from 260 megawatts (mw) to approximately 290 mw. At the conclusion of the LEM program (expected in June 2010), it is projected that the Blenheim-Gilboa project, rated originally at 1,040 mw, will be capable of producing approximately 1,160 mw of electricity.
The turbine runner being placed on display is one of four that generated over 48 million megawatt hours (mwh) of power between June 1973 when the plant was commissioned and September 2009 when this runner, the last of the original runners, was removed from service. The electricity generated by 48 million mwh is enough to power all of New York City for nearly one year.
The other three runners replaced earlier in the LEM process were recycled as part of the project scope.
The LEM program marks the first time the pumped-storage project has been upgraded with new turbines since it went into service in 1973. The $135 million upgrade will allow the Blenheim-Gilboa project to produce more power from the same amount of water while extending the facility’s record of reliable service for decades ahead.
■ 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. ■ More than 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, www.nypa.gov.