NYPA Awards Contract to WNY Firm As Part Of Efforts To Overhaul And Modernize Lewiston Pump Generating Plant

Christine Pritchard
(518) 433-6839

September 27, 2011


WHITE PLAINS – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees today awarded a contract to Eaton Corporation of Leroy, Genesee County, in support of the refurbishing and modernizing of the Niagara Power Project’s Lewiston Pump Generating- Plant (LPGP).

Eaton Corporation was awarded a nine-year contract valued at $10.9 million as part of NYPA’s Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) program at LPGP.  Eaton’s contract will include the design, manufacturing, delivery, installation and commission of 12 Unit Control Boards and Governor Controls-- part of the LPGP’s Control System Integration project. Specifically, the original electro-mechanical devices will be replaced with modern digital technology, including microprocessing capability, new instrumentation and alarms. The work will include upgrading the unit governing system and the replacement of the unit protective relaying system.

In June 2010, the NYPA Trustees approved the investment of $460 million in LPGP’s LEM program, which will enhance the pumped storage project’s performance and extend its working life years into the future.  The LEM is a nine-year program that will include major upgrades to all 12 pump-turbines and replacement of the generator step-up transformers (GSUs), which date back to 1961 when the Niagara Project was first placed into service. 

“The New York Power Authority is committed to maintaining and improving its critical energy infrastructure to ensure that we are providing low-cost power to Western New York and the State of New York years into the future,” said Gil C. Quiniones, acting president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “This contract with Eaton Corporation underscores both our dedication to the continued optimal operation of our facilities and our efforts to support businesses in Western New York.”
“I am pleased to support this contract award to Eaton Corporation as it will support NYPA’s efforts to overhaul and upgrade the Lewiston Pump  Generating-Plant and will provide a much needed boost to a Western New York company,” said D. Patrick Curley, NYPA trustee and Western New York resident.

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 Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, where the Power Authority replaced turbines and retrofitted other components of all 13 generating units.  The LEM at LPGP commenced this past summer with the replacement of the first GSU. The upgrade of the pump-turbine generating units will start in December 2012.

The unit work will occur under a schedule providing for the overhaul of a turbine generator every eight to nine months, with the final unit completed in 2020.  The phase-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 customers.

Pumped-storage facilities like the Lewiston Pump Generating-Plant 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.
At night or on weekends, when electricity demand is low, LPGP’s reversible pump turbine generating units operate as pumps, transporting water from the Niagara project’s forebay up to the Lewiston plant’s 22-billion-gallon upper reservoir, which is approximately 70 to 120 feet higher in elevation. Surplus electricity from the Moses plant, the project’s main generating facility, is used to power the pumps to push water into the Lewiston Reservoir during the off-peak times.  
During the daytime, when electricity use peaks, the pumps are reversed and become generators similar to the Moses plant.  In this way, Niagara River water can be used to produce electricity twice, with the same water flowing through the Lewiston generators and then the generating units at the Moses plant, which also capture the potential energy of the water diverted from the river in real-time.

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, www.nypa.gov.


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