Energy & Power Generation Consulting,
Engineering & Management Services



3.5 MW low head pressure hydro-electric generation facility

PROJECT: Hydro Power Plant Refurbishment & Upgrade Project

For this project, services were provided for a Project Manager and Lead Control System Engineer for an EPC contract (Engineer, Procure, and Construct) with a west coast city to resurrect an abandoned 3.5 megawatt capacity hydroelectric power plant facility. The facility ceased operation in 1998 due to numerous design, maintenance, and operational issues. In addition, the power house sustained a major flooding event in December of 2005 inundating all of the plant equipment up to an elevation of approximately four feet.

Under the senior management and control system guidance, engineers and construction craft completely refurbished all damaged, obsolete, and nonfunctional pieces of equipment from as large as the turbine/generators to as small as individual flow transmitters, switches, and relays. There was not a single system in the power house that remained untouched at the completion of this project.

A major challenge that was overcome was the replacement of obsolete and nonfunctional mid 1980s electronic and computer controlled equipment. These included the following:

- SCADA and plant controls upgrade to Allen-Bradley PLC
- Generator excitation equipment upgrade to a Basler Voltage Regulator
- Westinghouse generator protection relays upgrade to Schweitzer relays
- Auto Synchronization device upgrade to a Basler Auto Sync device
- Upgrade of the Transfer Trip communication devices including recloser

In general terms, lead Project Management and expert control system engineering services were provided for a complete plant rebuild. This included engineering design, construction and operation. All the work scope was completed even though this plant that had been historically problematic. The end result was to upgrade the plant to a proven standard demonstrated by the extensive years of experience in the power generation utility industry.


• Completed a full project assessment against the challenge of limited documentation and client expertise of the hydro plant design and operations. Successfully guided the client towards a realistic final project work scope.

• Successfully managed all aspects of this $1.5M project as the project manager providing a fully automated operational generation facility. Completed this project with zero safety or environmental incidents.

• Managed all environmental compliance issues for this $1.5M major refurbishment and upgrade project including the hazardous waste collection station. Even with the sensitive river environment, there were no environmental incidents on this project.