News Release Archive

Reclamation Seeks Comments on Left and Right Powerhouse Modernization at Grand Coulee Dam

Media Contact: Dave Walsh, (208) 378-5026,
Lynne Brougher, (509) 633-9503,

For Release: October 07, 2016

GRAND COULEE, Washington — The Bureau of Reclamation invites the public to comment on a proposed multiyear powerplant overhaul project at two Grand Coulee Dam powerhouses. During the 30-day comment period which ends Nov. 7, the public is encouraged to identify issues and concerns to be addressed in an Environmental Assessment on the proposed modernization and overhaul of all the generators in the Left and Right Powerhouses.

The 18 generating units and three station service units have been in operation for over 70 years and are starting to have mechanical problems from age-related wear and design. Reclamation would upgrade components of the generating units, modernize three station service generators, conduct maintenance of the penstocks, and update or replace the overhead cranes.

The Environmental Assessment alternatives are:

• Alternative A – No Action: Reclamation would continue to operate generating Units G1 – G18 with no system improvements. Maintenance would be performed on an as-needed basis. • Alternative B – Work on Two Units at a Time: Reclamation would repair and restore the generators in a timely manner to ensure reliable operation for an additional 30 years. Work would be expected to begin in the spring of 2018 with project completion anticipated by the end of 2029. Unforeseen circumstances (equipment breakdown, unexpected outages, delay in manufacturing, etc.) could delay completion.

• Alternative C – Work on One Unit at a Time: Reclamation would perform the same work as in Alternative B. However, this alternative would extend the overhaul work up to seven years, depending on the speed of completion.

The Environmental Assessment would evaluate the impacts of each alternative on the human and natural environments. The final Environmental Assessment is expected to be published in the summer of 2017.

To submit comments, or for additional information, contact Pam Druliner, Natural Resource Specialist, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706. Contact can also be made by emailing

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