B-G Project Removed From
Service as Part of Major Upgrade
September 25, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH BLENHEIM—The New York Power Authority’s
(NYPA) Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project was removed from
service during the weekend as part of a program to modernize and
extend the life of the plant.
Three of the project’s four pump-generating units
are expected to resume operation in mid-November, while the fourth
is scheduled to return to service in May 2007, on time to help meet
power needs in the peak summer period.
The temporary shutdown of the entire project last
Saturday (Sept. 23) was necessary because operators have reduced the
water levels in the facility’s upper reservoir atop Brown Mountain.
Reduced levels are required for replacement or refurbishment of
spherical valves that control the flow of water into the
powerhouse. The first of the four spherical valves will be replaced
during the current shutdown, with the others scheduled for
refurbishment in succeeding years.
The four-year, $135 million Life Extension and
Modernization program (LEM) is intended to insure that the
Blenheim-Gilboa project operates at maximum efficiency for many
years to come.
Work will include replacement of many of the major
mechanical and electrical components, and maintenance and repairs to
virtually all other parts. The work on the first unit is scheduled
for completion by next May, with the process repeated for the others
beginning in the fall of 2007, 2008 and 2009. The entire program is
to be completed in May 2010.
The 1,040,000-kilowatt Blenheim-Gilboa project,
which began operation in 1973, supplies electricity during periods
of greatest consumer demand. Water released from the upper
reservoir plunges 1,200 feet within Brown Mountain to power the four
turbine-generators and then flows into a lower reservoir on
Schoharie Creek. At night and on weekends, when demand is lower,
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