Draft Environmental Assessment Released for Proposed Modernization and Overhaul of 18 Generators at Grand Coulee Dam

Media Contact: Lynne Brougher , (509) 633-9503, lbrougher@usbr.gov
Edna Rey-Vizgirdas , ereyvizgirdas@usbr.gov

For Release: April 14, 2017

GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Grand Coulee Dam G1 – G18 Modernization and Overhaul Project.

The proposed project involves modernizing and overhauling the 18 generating units in the Left and Right powerhouses to provide reliable operations and electrical power generation for an additional 30 years. The 18 generating units and three station service units have been in operation for over 70 years and are experiencing 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 potential environmental effects of three alternatives were analyzed in the draft EA, including a preferred alternative:

  • Alternative A – No Action: Reclamation continues to operate generating Units G1 – G18 with no system improvements. Maintenance would be performed on an as-needed basis.
  • Alternative B – Preferred Alternative: Work on Two Units simultaneously: Reclamation repairs and restores the generators to ensure reliable operation for an additional 30 years. Work would likely begin in the spring of 2018 with project completion anticipated by the end of 2029.
  • Alternative C – Work on One Unit at a Time: Reclamation performs the same work as in Alternative B. However, this would extend the overhaul work up to seven years longer than Alternative B.

The Draft EA is available at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/gcpowerhouse/index.html. Please send written comments no later than May 14, 2017, to Pam Druliner, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706 or by email to pdruliner@usbr.gov. You may also contact her for additional information or to obtain a hard copy of the Draft EA.

# # #

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 https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.