Vernon Hydroelectric Project

Location: Connecticut River, Vernon, Vermont
Owner: TransCanada Hydro Northeast
Client: Gerace Construction
Engineer: Hatch Energy

Project Summary

Electrical reconstruction and upgrade of a 1909-built hydropower plant consisting of the replacement of four of ten existing turbines. Project increased the output of the plant by approximately 8MW, bringing the total output of this facility to 36MW.

Challenge

The four turbines that needed to be replaced were physically located within a ten-unit linear array of turbines, making access difficult. The balance of the turbines were required to remain operational while construction, testing, and commissioning efforts were being performed to furnish needed power to the power grid.

Response

State Electric crews worked in very tight and challenging conditions to revamp the existing historic plant and associated penstocks, which channel the water from the river, through the turbine and back to the river. Working closely with the plant operators and engineering personnel, State Electric supervised development of plans to upgrade the existing turbine controls, outgoing protection systems, and distribution systems while maintaining normal operations of the remaining turbines and a reliable power source to the electrical grid within Southern Vermont.

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