GE Renewable Energy signs a Renovation contract with Avista Utilities

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The generators at the historic Long Lake Hydroelectric Power Plant will be refurbished by GE Renewable Energy. Long Lake Powerhouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will have four generators rehabilitated by GE Renewable Energy.

Avista Utilities, a US energy company serving four northwest states, has signed a Service contract with GE Renewable Energy to update four generator units at the Long Lake hydropower plant in the United States. The facility will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW once the restoration is completed. This amount of energy is enough to meet the electricity needs of nearly 80,000 households.

“These units were installed in the late 1970s and have served Avista’s customers well, providing clean renewable hydropower. They have a 40-year design life and are due for this kind of an upgrade. Long Lake is the largest hydroelectric facility on the Spokane River. It continues to play a vital role in facilitating the urban, industrial, and agricultural development of eastern Washington and northern Idaho,”

said Mac Mikkelsen, Avista’s Manager for the Long Lake Hydropower plant.

The main goal of the generator renovation is to ensure that the plant’s overall equipment remains reliable for decades to come. Furthermore, the modernization of the units will improve efficiency and performance, as well as respond to the expanding needs of the energy imbalance market (EIM), allowing Avista to better serve its clients. The EIM is a real-time wholesale energy trading market that allows participants from anywhere in the West to purchase and sell energy as needed, ensuring grid reliability and making excess renewable energy available to participating utilities at a cheap cost rather than shutting down generating units.

“I am delighted that Avista has renewed their confidence in GE’s Hydro Solutions. This close relationship enables us to clearly understand their needs and work side by side in order to provide a customized solution and execution planning that best meets their needs. For us, it is an honor and an obligation to be part of Long Lake’s history and to help ensure that this facility, which was an example of state-of-the-art hydropower technology since the early twentieth century, remains a critical part of the energy supply in the Northwest of the U.S. for many decades to come,”

Pascal Radue, President, and CEO of GE’s Hydro Solutions said.

The first of the renovated Long Lake units is expected to be operational by the end of 2024, with the last one following in 2029. The project’s scope includes the entire replacement and supply of stators, poles, fans, and spider/rim designs, among other things.

The collaboration between Avista and GE is the result of a long-standing and well-established relationship. The generators of the sister plant, Little Falls, which is located downstream of the Spokane River, had previously been modernized by GE.

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