CARY, N.C. — Siemens has been chosen by Yellowstone Electric Co. out of Billings, Montana on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, to deliver 14 environmentally-friendly ester-insulated power transformers to Glen Canyon Dam power plant, located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona. The ester fluid, derived from alternative oils, offers significant environmental benefits to the petroleum-based mineral counterparts typically used in power generator step-up (GSU) transformers. The ester fluid is fully biodegradable, operates at a much higher flash point which results in a lower fire risk and can dissipate in water quickly if necessary. The new transformers will replace equipment installed for the dam’s initial operation in 1964 and will increase the real power transmission capacity. The power infrastructure upgrade will allow the hydroelectric dam and Glen Canyon power plant to continue its annual production of approximately five billion kilowatt-hours of power reaching 5.8 million customers.
“Yellowstone Electric is very proud to have been selected by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to execute this project with Siemens. Together, Yellowstone and Siemens are partnered to provide the Bureau with the latest in environmental technology to solve a potential problem that has existed on the Colorado River since 1964,” said George Haddenhorst, vice president of Yellowstone Electric Co. “Siemens leads the pack in ester filled transformer technology, and this project will showcase how environmental concerns can be eliminated using the best currently available technology, while at the same time, upgrading system capacity and reliability.”
The ester fluid transformers, supplied by Siemens factory in Linz, Austria, rated 125 MVA (10 units designed for 345-kV and 4 units for 230-kV), will connect Glen Canyon’s generation units to the transmission grid and increase the transmission power capacity to provide stable and reliable electricity to customers. This is the first time the Bureau of Reclamation will use ester fluid transformers of this size for a hydroelectric power project.
“Hydroelectric generation is our nation’s largest producer of renewable power, so we need to ensure the systems that support this integral resource are operating efficiently and reliably while keeping environmental and sustainability concerns at the top of our minds,” said Richard Boyd, vice president of Siemens Transformers U.S. “Our goal in working with the Bureau of Reclamation and Yellowstone Electric Co. was to address these issues, and we’re proud that our new ester fluid transformers will enhance the integral power infrastructure for the dam and do so in the most environmentally conscious way possible.”
Siemens will begin delivering the transformers in late 2017. The units are expected to be installed and begin operation in 2018 and 2019.
Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge. Photo credit: Mark Byzewski
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