The rebuild is the first part of a three-year US$17.6M overhaul of the three turbines and generators of the Nipawin hydro station in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Along with the rebuild, some additional work was carried out that will extend the interval between future major overhauls from about 15 to 25-30 years. Because of the improvements made during this project, the unit maintenance cycle will be increased from one to three years.
The project was completed within budget by SaskPower, the contractor VA Tech and others who worked on the rebuild. Hitachi Canadian Industries Ltd. rebuilt the massive turbine runner in their Saskatoon facility, while Saskatchewan workers performed virtually all of the on-site work. SaskPower plans to refurbish Nipawin’s other two units in 2004 and 2005.
The 255MW hydroelectric station is located on the Saskatchewan river southwest of Nipawin, and is owned by SaskPower, a provincial government utility. The first 85MW unit of the plant was commissioned in 1985, and two more units of 85MW each were commissioned in 1986. SaskPower operates a total of seven hydroelectric stations as part of its generation fleet.