Snowy Hydro has announced it is carrying out a major project to refurbish the Murray 1 hydroelectric power station generator step-up transformers, in order to significantly extend the life of these important Snowy Scheme assets by an extra 15 years.
The 950MW Murray 1 station is located near the town of Khancoban in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. There have been a number of obstacles to overcome during the course of the refurbishment project, including road closures along the Alpine Way due to natural incidents, weather extremes in the Snowy Mountains, and above all, COVID-19 and the closing of the border between New South Wales and Victoria.
Contractor Khancoban and Wilson Transformer Company (WTC), based in Melbourne, navigated a six-week government approval process to cross the border from Victoria to work on the refurbishment through the pandemic. WTC manufactured a purpose-built dry out tank at its Glen Waverley factory specifically for this project.
The tank is utilised after the team has de-tanked the core and coils – which are then both put inside the dry-out tank. The team completes welding works and modification of the old transformer tank and lid, before re-tanking the unit into the original body.
There are two more Murray 1 transformer refurbishments and bushing replacements remaining, with the last scheduled to be completed in November 2022.
So far, the project has been highly successful, with approximately 100 workers involved, and no safety concerns or injuries, said Snowy Hydro.