By David F. Rooney
The mammoth, 188-tonne turbine BC Hydro intends to install at Revelstoke Dam’s Unit 5 Project now sits on a barge anchored off shore at Shelter Bay.
The seven-metre-wide device arrived by barge Saturday and will not be transported to the dam until next Friday or Saturday, BC Hydro’s Jennifer Walker-Larsen said in an e-mail to The Revelstoke Current today.
Made in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the turbine was transported by ship to the U.S. where it was placed on a barge and sent up the Columbia River. By the time the 500 megawatt turbine reaches Revelstoke it will have travelled about 12,000 kilometres.
It could have been cut in two and transported that way, but Project Director Ken McKenzie,said in a statement that the Unit 5 team chose to transport it in one piece “to increase the quality and expected life of the stainless steel turbine.”
“However, the resulting weight of the 188 ton turbine makes it challenging to move and the project team has been carefully planning its transport for well over a year,” he said.
Once installed, the turbine will provide an additional 500 megawatts of capacity to the Revelstoke Generating Station, bringing the facility’s overall capacity to 2,480 megawatts.
Because the turbine will take up the entire width of the road, traffic along Highway 23S and Westside Road will be suspended to allow it to pass. This should cause little disruption as the giant machine will be moved between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.