Boulder completes rehabilitation of 5-MW hydroelectric project

The two-and-a-half year modernization of Colorado's 5-MW Boulder Canyon hydropower facility is now complete, has learned.

The US$5.155 million project, funded in part by a $1.18 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, has been owned and operated by the city of Boulder since 2001.

The Boulder Canyon project has operated continuously since its construction in 1910, although the city says production at the plant was expected to cease within five years had rehabilitation not been undertaken.

The modernization of the plant saw the removal of one of the facility's existing turbine-generator units, which was replaced with a Canyon Hydro-manufactured Pelton turbine.

"The effort to upgrade the turbines was arduous and complex," says Director of Public Works for Utilities Jeff Arthur. "The city was concerned with continuing operations at the facility, increasing power generation, and improving safety, but equally as important was preserving the historical significance of the plant itself."

Work at Boulder Canyon also included the installation of improved lightning protection, removal and replacement of aging transformers, installation of a new turbine isolation valve, and installation of remote monitoring and operation equipment.

For more stories about rehabilitation and repair projects, visit here.

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