The work involves the installation of 15 single-phase, water-cooled power transformers and appurtenances. The new transformers will replace five banks of transformers in the Left and Right Powerplants. The existing transformers are at least 60 years old and have experienced operational failures resulting in extensive clean-up activities. Failure of the existing transformers could pose significant environmental and safety hazards.

“Upgrading the equipment at Grand Coulee Dam is essential to improving our infrastructure and maintaining a steady supply of hydro-electrical power throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” said USBR Commissioner Michael Connor.

Work on the project is expected to be completed by October 2014.

Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, is a key feature of USBR`s Columbia Basin Project in central Washington. It is a multi-purpose project that provides flood control, irrigation, hydropower production, recreation, stream flows, and fish and wildlife benefits. The project has three powerplants, a pump-generating plant, and three switchyards. Power generated at the project is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration.