The Bureau of Reclamation is requesting public comment to help identify issues to be addressed in an environmental assessment for the proposed John W. Keys, III Pump-Generating Plant Modernization Project. The pump-generating plant is located at Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane.
Information obtained during the scoping period from July 6 through Aug. 5 will help bring focus to the concerns, issues, and analyses that should be included in the draft EA which is scheduled to be issued by December, according to the Bureau. Completion of the final EA is anticipated in March 2012.
The John W. Keys, III Pump-Generating Plant provides irrigation water to about 670,000 acres of farmland in the Columbia Basin Project. It has a hydroelectric generating capacity of 314 megawatts and has been in operation since the early 1950s. The plant contains 6 pumps and 6 pump-generators.
The purpose of the modernization project is to replace and increase the plant’s operational reliability by replacing and repairing components that are exhibiting substantial age-related wear. This proposed modernization, if approved, will be jointly funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and the Columbia Basin Project irrigation districts to ensure efficient plant operations to provide reliable irrigation delivery and hydroelectric power.
The three proposed alternatives include:
-- No Action: Reclamation would continue operating the John W. Keys, III Pump-Generating Plant’s pump and pump-generating units with no system improvements.
-- Plant Modernization: Reclamation would overhaul and modernize the pump and pump-generating units. This would include work on the unit controls, transformers, circuit breakers, and the fire protection equipment.
-- Plant Modernization with Left Powerhouse Decoupling (Disconnecting): Reclamation would overhaul and modernize the pump and pump-generating units. The pumps will be disconnected, also known as decoupling, from the Grand Coulee left powerhouse and connected to the Grand Coulee 230 kV switchyard. This would require an additional transformer and installation of a new 230 kV transmission line to connect the pumps to the switchyard.
The project summary can be found at www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/jkpgp/index.html