New equipment for Canyon Ferry power plant, US

13 September 2021

Gardner Zemke Company is to replace and install equipment at the Canyon Ferry power plant switchyard under a US$2.89 million contract awarded by the US Bureau of Reclamation.

The work consists of a high voltage oil circuit breaker removal, Sulfur hexafluoride circuit breaker installation, and disconnect switch replacement at the plant, which is located about 17-miles east of Helena, Montana in Lewis and Clark County. 

The existing switchyard was constructed from 1949-1954 and is located on the roof top of the Canyon Ferry power plant. It consists of five 115kV, 3-phase, oil circuit breakers connected in a ring bus configuration with associated switches. The ring bus configuration provides interconnection of Canyon Ferry power plant’s three main generating units, through the step-up transformers, with the two outgoing transmission lines.  

The switchyard is routinely used for its operational flexibility to allow continued operation of the power plant which, on average, generates 380GWh annually. The current switchyard equipment is mostly from the original installation and is more than 65 years old. Replacement will help avoid potential failures in the future, reduce maintenance frequency and contribute to the safe, effective, and reliable delivery of renewable energy from the hydropower generators.

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