Voith Hydro Celebrates Grand Opening of Waneta Expansion Project in British Columbia

CASTLEGAR, British Columbia, Sept. 30, 2015 /CNW/ -- The Waneta Expansion Limited Partnership (WELP), a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust, recently celebrated the grand opening of the $900 million, 335 MW Waneta Expansion Project, near Trail, British Columbia, Canada. The official grand opening celebration took place over the summer at the facility with project stakeholders, contractors, government representatives, and First Nations.

Voith Hydro supplied the two Francis turbines, generators, governors, exciters and various additional auxiliary systems of the plant's equipment.  Voith Hydro is a subcontractor to SNC Lavalin Inc. acting as the prime contractor on the project.  "In 2010 when I was Energy Minister the first time, there was a vigorous debate within government about whether to allow the Waneta Expansion project to proceed," said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines who officially inaugurated the expansion. "I am grateful that, as a Kootenay resident, I had the opportunity at the time to ensure that this tremendous project was allowed to proceed."

Located immediately downstream of the Waneta Dam on the Pend d'Oreille River, the Waneta Expansion adds a second powerhouse that shares the existing hydraulic head, generating clean, renewable, cost-effective power from water that would otherwise be spilled. The project included the construction of a 10 km, 230 kV transmission line. The Waneta Expansion was completed within budget six weeks ahead of schedule. Throughout its four-and-a-half-years of construction, the project maintained an excellent safety and environmental protection record.

"The grand opening of Waneta is the culmination of many years of hard work to complete one of British Columbia's largest infrastructure projects," said William Malus, CEO of Voith Hydro in Canada. "With Waneta's expansion now operational, customers across British Columbia will see even more benefits from reliable, affordable, and renewable hydropower generation."

The inauguration included a First Nations welcomes and prayers by Chiefs and Elders of Ktunaxa Nation and Okanagan Nation, the unveiling of plaques by Minister and ribbon cutting, a powerhouse tour of the intake, the control room and walkway to service bay. The group was then invited to proceed to the newly opened Fort Shepherd viewing area for presentation of project legacy signage and the day ended with a reception at the Columbia Gardens Vineyard and Winery in Trail, BC.

Columbia Power managed construction of the Waneta Expansion Project on behalf of WELP. For more information please visit: columbiapower.org/wanetaexpansion.

Waneta Expansion Quick Facts:

  • Employed over 1,400 people.
  • With over 3 million man-hours logged there were only two minor lost time incidents and no major environmental incidents or concerns.
  • The project is situated in an area claimed as traditional First Nations territories by both the Ktunaxa Nation Council and Okanagan Nation Alliance. Benefit agreements with both First Nations were executed and the Owner and Contractors worked closely with First Nations to maximize opportunities and benefits.
  • Diameter of the two (2) water tunnels 10.5 meters.
  • Rated discharge 312.6 m3/sec @ Nominal Net Head 61.32 m.
  • Nominal rated speed 112.5 RPM (ccw).
  • Two (2) Francis turbines units for a total powerhouse capacity of 335 MW @ 13.8 kV (2 X 186.1 MVA).
  • Concrete used: 85,000 m3, enough to fill over thirty (30) Olympic sized swimming pools.
  • Reinforcing steel used: 5,740,000 kg.

About the Company

Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith today has more than 39,000 employees, sales of €5.3 billion and locations in more than 50 countries, making it one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.

The Importance of Hydropower

Hydropower is the largest, oldest and also most reliable form of renewable energy generation. Worldwide it makes an indispensable contribution to stable power supplies and hence to economic and social development – both in industrial countries and in emerging markets. At the same time, hydropower significantly contributes to climate-protecting energy generation. Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology since the early beginning, and continuously develops it further.

CONTACT:  Lewis Lowe, 202-333-2234

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150930/272643


SOURCE Voith Hydro

Image with caption: "Voith Hydro supplied the two Francis turbines, generators, governors, exciters and various additional auxiliary systems for the Waneta Expansion Project in British Columbia.". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/272643

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