Life extension and modernization final phase started at Gilboa project

North Blenheim — The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) four-year, $135 million Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) program to modernize and extend the life of the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project was expected to begin its fourth and final phase on Monday, Sept. 14.
The first phase of the program began in Sept. 2006 and was successfully completed in May 2007; the second and third phases were completed during similar timelines from September to May in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
“Now in the final year of the LEM upgrades at the Blenheim-Gilboa facility, we are pleased with the results of the previous three phases and look forward to the completion of the program,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “We are confident that our work over the past three years will allow the Power Authority to meet peak power demand with clean, efficient, and reliable hydropower for years to come.”
LEM includes the replacement of many of the major mechanical and electrical components of the project’s four pump-generating units, and maintenance and repairs to virtually all other parts. The schedule calls for the Power Authority to commence work on the fourth pump-generator in mid-September, with the unit slated to return to service by June 2010, which will mark the completion of the program.
The Power Authority closed the upper reservoir, located on Kingsley Road in the Town of Gilboa, to all public recreational activities, including boating and shoreline fishing, on September 14, to allow construction crews to mobilize equipment.
The lower reservoir will remain open to boating and shoreline fishing until September 29, but may be closed to boating at any time due to reasons associated with the LEM program. Access to the reservoir can be found through Mine Kill State Park, which is open from 7:30 a.m. until dusk. Only boaters obtaining special permits from the Power Authority, and displaying them on their boats and trailers, are allowed access to the lower reservoir.