Rochester Gas & Electric restarts Station 5 hydro project after $111 million modernization

Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. recently opened the valves that feed water to the three turbines in its 46-MW Station 5 hydro project, signaling the completion of a $111 million modernization that took five years to complete.

Station 5, on the Genesee River near Lake Ontario, began operating in 1917. RG&E dewatered the 2,000-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped tunnel in August 2007 to reline it and upgrade other components, including the three turbine-generator units.

Tetra Tech Inc. was awarded a $23 million contract to perform the work on the tunnel in September 2011.

The tunnel was refilled for the first time in mid-December, and the first turbine was repowered two days later. All three turbines are expected to be in use by early 2013, with a formal recommissioning ceremony planned for spring 2013.

“RG&E … [is] committed to investing in sustainable energy,” says Mark S. Lynch, president of RG&E. “That’s why we’re rebuilding this century-old station to provide our customers with green, renewable power for years to come.”

RG&E owns three hydropower projects, 3-MW Station 26, 8.5-MW Station 2 and Station 5.

RG&E is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, as a result of a purchase made in June 2007.

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