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Press Release

GE Renewable Energy to refurbish hydro turbines at the Rock Island plant and extend their life for the next 40 years

December 17, 2020
  • GE Renewable Energy to rehabilitate eight Bulb generating units at Rock Island Powerhouse 2 in the US
  • The new oil-free solution designed by GE Renewable Energy will prevent the risk of liquid leakage in the Columbia river
  • Once refurbished, the lifetime of the units will be increased by another 40 years.

Paris, December 17, 2020 – GE Renewable Energy signed a Design Build Agreement (DBA) with Chelan County PUD, a US public utility, to start the design process for the rehabilitation of eight Bulb generating units at Rock Island Powerhouse 2 in the U.S.

“These units were installed in the late 1970s and have run trouble-free for the most part,” said John Sagerser, engineering and project manager at Rock Island Dam. “They have a 40-year design life and they are beginning to show signs of wear. Rock Island Powerhouse 2 is a critical part of the District’s programs to minimize environmental impacts in such areas as fish passage and total dissolved gas. That’s why Environmental Stewardship is one of the four strategic goals for the project, and why improvements to minimize oil, grease and other potential contaminants are key elements of the work.”

Pascal Radue, President and CEO of GE's Hydro Solutions said, “I am delighted that Chelan County PUD has renewed their confidence in GE’s Hydro Solutions. We have established a collaborative and transparent approach with Chelan County PUD. 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.”

The main objective of the Powerhouse 2 rehabilitation is to maintain the overall plant equipment reliability for the next 40 years using innovative and environment-friendly solutions, two important factors that guided the development of a new GE’s hydro solution.

As part of the rehabilitation, GE Renewable Energy will provide a new oil-free runner solution. Traditional runners use oil as lubricants, by avoiding that the GE design eliminates the risk of oil leaking into water passing through the runners.


About Rock Island
Rock Island Dam is the second-largest of three hydroelectric sites operated by Chelan County PUD that owns and operates one of the nation’s largest nonfederal, customer-owned hydroelectric generating systems. The eight horizontal Bulb generating units in Powerhouse 2 are the only such turbines on the Columbia River and one of the few in North America.

The hydro project is located near the geographical center of Washington State, on the Columbia River. The second powerhouse can generate enough electrical power to serve a city the size of Vancouver, Washington, plus the rest of Clark County.

The design is expected to be completed in late 2020. The work to rehabilitate the eight generating units is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2030.

About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $15 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Emilie Pervin
Hydro, Communications
GE Renewable Energy
+33 6 28 31 74 13
[email protected]

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