Chelan PUD and GE team up for Rock Island rebuild

7 May 2021

Chelan PUD and GE Renewable Energy have reached an agreement that will see the eight 42-year-old turbines at Rock Island Powerhouse II rebuilt one by one starting in 2022, at an estimated cost of $210 million.

To ensure long-term value and quality, GE and Chelan PUD negotiated an extended correction period, significantly exceeding the standard two-year warranty for hydroelectric turbines.

“We are appreciative that GE has responded to our plea for the hydropower industry to develop longer-term commitments and quality control,” said Steve Wright, general manager at Chelan PUD. “This innovative and important agreement represents our commitment to our customer-owners to strive for best value over the long run. I am grateful to GE and Chelan PUD staff for their creativity and tenacity.” 

As part of the Powerhouse II rehabilitation, Chelan PUD and GE are innovating a more environmentally friendly turbine design. Turbines like the ones in Powerhouse II are traditionally lubricated with oil and safeguarded with trunnion seals. The new design allows the turbines to be filled with oil, water, or air, which gives Chelan PUD the flexibility to use new technologies without compromising the mechanical integrity of the turbine.

“We want to thank Chelan PUD for the collaborative approach their team has promoted in the past two years by working in full transparency, building trust, and defining a common approach towards shared goals,” said Pierre Marx, General Manager GE Hydro Solutions, North America. “As a result we’ve been able to develop a customized solution that meets the needs of Chelan PUD, a project with less risks, more focus on the outcomes, and a path for a successful execution shared by both parties.”

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