Shoshone power plant in Glenwood Canyon will be producing juice again by May | PostIndependent.com
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Shoshone power plant in Glenwood Canyon will be producing juice again by May

John GardnerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD CANYON, Colorado A ruptured penstock on June 20, 2007 left the Shoshone Hydroelectric plant lifeless. But Xcel Energy area manager Fred Eggleston said the plant will be producing power again by the end of April.Over the next couple of weeks we will know a little more, Eggleston said. We dont want to rush it. We want to know that it will work correctly before we go online with it.The Shoshone station, located in Glenwood Canyon, produces 14 megawatts of power and has been in operation for close to 99 years. It was put out of commission after one of the large penstock pipes that delivers water to the plant ruptured and caused water and debris to flood the plant. But over the past 10 months the majority of the project has been cleaned up or replaced.The penstock is where the problem was, Eggleston said. We realigned both penstocks and have also reinforced them with concrete barriers.Along with repairing the penstocks, the generators that create the electricity have been rewound. Eggleston said its probably the first time the generators have been rewound in the plants history.Back 100 years ago, things were done very differently, he said. Our guys went into it and had challenges on trying to figure out how to rewind them.Some of the challenges faced were found because the turbines were shipped in and assembled at the plant during the early 1900s. Regardless, the plant will still produce the same 14-megawatts of power.We did not try to increase the output of the plant, Eggleston said.Besides repairing the obvious problems, not much else has been done to upgrade or change the historical integrity of the plant itself. The generators didnt necessarily need to be rewound, either, according to Eggleston, but it seemed like an obvious time to do it.Its still going to be the same as before, Eggleston said. The reason we rewound them at this time was because the plant was down and it was a good time to do it.Eggleston said they will begin to test the systems within the next couple of weeks to ensure they are working properly before the plant is up and running. The plant doesnt serve any residential customers but it does have an impact on Colorado River water users. The generating station does not consume water, but commands important flows in the Colorado River, which benefit fish, rafters and multitudes of other Western Slope water users.The plant is one of seven hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by Xcel Energy in Colorado. The estimated cost of repairs is $12 million.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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