GE Renewable Energy has signed two hydropower contracts in the US, one for FirstLight’s Northfield Mountain project and one for PG&E’s Caribou One hydropower station.

FirstLight has chosen GE to design, supply, install and commission a new spherical valve at the 4 x 292MW Northfield Mountain pumped storage station, New England’s largest energy storage facility.

The new valve, which has a 114” internal diameter and weighs approximately 90 tons, will be designed to improve the station’s flexibility by allowing the unit to cycle approximately 10 times per day more often than it currently does. This flexibility is important given the increasing amount of intermittent wind and solar power being used in the region. The project, which is being supported by GE’s Hydro teams in Denver is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

In addition, GE has been selected by PG&E to replace a runner and shaft of the first of three 27MW units at Caribou hydroelectric station. The runners, which are 12ft in diameter and weigh approximately 25 tons, use a Pelton design. They feature stainless steel material for improved reliability and longevity. The equipment will be delivered in the first quarter of 2021.

Caribou, which was first commissioned in 1921, is one of several projects on the North Fork Feather River and its tributaries that is part of a system that provide hydroelectricity and water storage for irrigation in the Sacramento Valley.