Wärtsilä to increase capacity of John W. Keys

11 October 2017

The technology group Wärtsilä and American Hydro – a Wärtsilä Company since 2016 − are together increasing the efficiency, flexibility and hydropower production capacity of the John W. Keys III pump generating plant. The work covers upgrade of two pump units at the plant, located at the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington.

The modernisation plan will help to achieve efficient plant operations, provide reliable irrigation delivery and allow for adequate flexibility to continue power reserve balancing and load shaping, eliminating the potential loss of public revenue and adverse effects on the regional economy from interrupted irrigation delivery and public power generation.

The project was awarded to American Hydro in August 2016 by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. During 2017−2019, the project involves the replacement of the pump impellers on Units 5 & 6 in the John W. Keys III plant. In addition, Wärtsilä will provide mechanical shaft seals for the pumps.

The plant has an output of 314 MW and is part of the 6,809 MW Grand Coulee Dam power complex, which also provides flood control and irrigation for the area.