The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a US$322,136 contract to CB Environmental LLC for cleaning and maintenance work at the 200-MW Mt. Elbert pumped-storage hydropower project near Leadville, Colo.
Reclamation sought bids for the work in May following a failure in the plant's oil mist collection system allowed surfaces inside the air housing to be contaminated with mineral oil. Lighter hydrocarbons have since evaporated, leaving a greasy residue that retains dirt, brake dust and carbon dust, which reduces cooling efficiency and might increase the risk of winding failure.
Per the tender, the government will disassemble a generator, remove the rotor and place it on a pedestal for maintenance.
CB Environmental will then be responsible for constructing a contaminant containment structure for the work; cleaning the generator stator, rotor, upper guide bearing bracket, and thrust bracket of containments including crysotile asbestos and heavy metal; repairing surface coatings; and disposing of waste materials.
The Mt. Elbert project is part of Reclamation's Fryingpan-Arkansas project, which diverts surplus water from the Fryingpan River and other tributaries of Roaring Fork River on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains to the Arkansas River Basin on the eastern slope.
The pumped-storage project, which has two 100-MW reversible Francis pump-generators, generates power from water originally pumped from Twin Lakes, the plant's afterbay, and from supplemental water delivered from Turquoise Lake to the forebay.
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