Waneta Expansion Project Supported by Voith
The Waneta Expansion Limited Partnership (WELP), located between Fortis Inc., the Columbia Power Corporation, and the Columbia Basin Trust, has partnered with Voith, one of the world's leading suppliers of hydroelectric equipment. The partnership has connected the Waneta Expansion Project near Trail, British Columbia to the electrical grid. Located on the border between Canada and the USA, the plant is now generating power on the BC Hydro grid.
The expansion adds a second power house that generates clean, renewable, cost-effective power downstream of the Waneta Dam on the Pend-d’Oreille River. It allows water to be used that would otherwise have been spilled and wasted. A 10 km, 230 kV transmission line was also included that will provide enough energy to power approximately 60,000 homes each year.
“We are proud to have contributed to one of the largest infrastructure projects in British Columbia and helped bring it online," says William Malus, CEO of Voith Hydro in Canada. "We contributed to making available, reliable, and affordable electricity from a renewable, climate friendly source."
When it was completed, the project was considered the eighth largest hydroelectric infrastructure project in British Columbia. Even though the project was a massive undertaking, it was still completed six weeks ahead of schedule.
Two Francis turbine units contain two parallel tunnels, each of which supplies 167.5 MW. Not only did Voith supply the turbines, it also supplied the generators, exciters, and various auxiliary systems to complete the plant’s equipment. Acting as the prime contractor on the project, Voith Hydro was hired as a subcontractor by SNC Lavalin. Inc.
The project began in October, 2010 and employed over 1,400 people in the five years that were spent designing, manufacturing, constructing, and commissioning the project. The official opening is scheduled to be held in July, 2015 with project, local, regional, and provincial government representatives in attendance.