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Reclamation Awards $7.2 Million Contract for Switchgear Replacement at John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant at Grand Coulee Dam

Media Contact: Kelly Bridges, (208) 378-5101,
Lynne Brougher, (509) 633-9503,

For Release: March 20, 2015

BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $7.2 million contract on March 13 to Gardner Zemke Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to replace the switchgear for six pump-generators at the John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant , a part of the Grand Coulee Power Complex. Replacing the switchgear begins a 20-year modernization project at the plant. The project, funded through Bonneville Power Administration, South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Quincy Columbia Basin Irrigation District, East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and Congressional appropriations, is scheduled to be finished by June 2017.

The pump-generating units were installed from 1973 to 1984. "Upgrading and replacing aging equipment in the pumping plant will ensure reliable irrigation delivery to Reclamation's largest irrigation project." said Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López. "It will also help support the Columbia Basin Project's significant economic impact of producing more than 90 crops that are distributed both locally and internationally."

The principal components of work include furnishing and installing new 13.8 kV unit switchgear assemblies for pump-generator units 7 through 12, including cubicles, gas-insulated power circuit breakers, disconnect (including ground) switches and instrument transformers. Other work will include furnishing and installing conductors and conduit for power and control circuits, furnishing spare parts, drawings and data, training staff in operation and maintenance of new equipment, and factory and field testing new equipment.

Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, it is a multi-purpose facility and a key feature of Reclamation's Columbia Basin Project. It is the largest power producer in the U.S. at an average of 20 billion kWh annually. The John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant, located adjacent to Grand Coulee Dam, provides irrigation water to approximately 670,000 acres of farmland in the Columbia Basin Project in central Washington. It has a hydroelectric generating capacity of 314 megawatts and has been in operation since the early 1950s. The plant contains six pumps and six pump-generators.

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