Reclamation Awards $12 million Contract for Grand Coulee Dam Powerplants

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Lynne Brougher, (509) 633-9503

For Release: October 18, 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $12 million construction contract for power transformers in the Left and Right Powerplants at Grand Coulee Dam located on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane, Washington.

Gardner Zemke Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico was awarded the contract on October 13, 2010.

The work involves the installation of 15 single-phase, water-cooled power transformers and appurtenances. The new transformers will replace five banks of transformers in the Left and Right Powerplants. The existing transformers are at least 60 years old and have experienced operational failures resulting in extensive clean-up activities. Failure of the existing transformers could pose significant environmental and safety hazards.

"Upgrading the equipment at Grand Coulee Dam is essential to improving our infrastructure and maintaining a steady supply of hydro-electrical power throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor.

Work on the project is expected to be completed by October 1, 2014.

Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1941, it is a key feature of Reclamation`s Columbia Basin Project in central Washington. It is a multi-purpose project that provides flood control, irrigation, hydropower production, recreation, stream flows, and fish and wildlife benefits. The project has three powerplants, a pump-generating plant, and three switchyards. Power generated at the project is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.