An overhaul project is planned for the Sturgis hydroelectric plant

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Sturgis hydroelectric facility and dam.

An overhaul project is planned for the Sturgis hydroelectric plant near Centerville.

The Sturgis City Commission on Wednesday approved a bid from Thompson/Hydro Consulting and Maintenance Services to overhaul hydro units 3 and 4 at the plant. The offer was just over $979,800.

The commissioners also approved a bid waiver and Hydro Partners’ proposal for project management services at a cost of $23,100; and approved an emergency budget for the hydroelectric overhaul project of $130,000.

In 2020, Hydro Consulting and Maintenance Services was commissioned by the city to perform a comprehensive review of the operation of the hydroelectric plant. The objective was to assess the condition of the equipment and current repair/maintenance practices; identify and document current risks; and recommend actions the city should take to reduce those risks.

As a result of the review, it was recommended that the two hydroelectric groups be overhauled.

A complete overhaul includes system control, overhauled hydraulic control equipment and overhauled hydro-generator units to restore the system to working order.

The operation of the hydroelectric plant provides benefits in three ways:

  • Reduction of energy purchased in bulk.
  • Reduced ability to buy.
  • Reduced transmission required at purchase.

Based on assumptions about future prices for purchased power, transmission and capacity, as well as other operating assumptions, staff estimate that the savings to the city from the works will be approximately $7 million over the next five years.

Staff released the first part of this project, the hydro-generating unit review, for submission on March 23, with submissions opening on May 13.

Officials are in the process of bidding for the other elements of the renovation, including new control systems and overhaul of hydraulic control equipment. These offers will be brought back to the committee at a future meeting.

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