Overhaul at Montana hydroelectric power plant completed

PPL Montana completed a three-and-a-half year, $209 million expansion at the 60 MW Rainbow hydroelectric power plant near Great Falls.

Smaller units with a combined capacity of 35 MW that were installed between 1910 and 1930 were replaced with a single, 60 MW unit, increasing the power generated by the plant by 70 percent.  The project also included a new turbine with wider flow passages and fewer rotating surfaces to increase fish safety. The new unit began commercial operation on April 22.

PPL also completed a $38 million 100 kV interconnection project, which will connect PPL’s five Great Falls hydro plants to NorthWestern Energy’s grid.

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