Turbines and generators contractor starts work on Site C

Graphic of turbines and generators for Site C.

Another Site C milestone reached. Work has started on the six turbines and generators that will power BC's homes and businesses well into the future. — Photo courtesy BC Government news

BC Hydro’s Site C project reached a milestone today as the turbines and generators contractor mobilized to the construction site.

Voith Hydro Canada, which was awarded the $470-million contract in March 2016, will design, supply and install six vertical axis, Francis-style turbines, six generators and associated equipment for Site C.

“This is another important step forward for the Site C project,” said Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South. “The turbines and generators are a critical component of this project as they’ll generate the clean electricity that will power our homes and businesses well into the future.”

Turbines and generators convert the power of falling water into electricity, which is then transformed and fed into the provincial electricity grid. The performance of a turbine and generator is critical to the success of Site C. These turbines and generators will be custom designed and built to suit the site-specific conditions of the project.

Voith Hydro has a strong track record with similar complex projects. Voith has provided equipment for a number of BC Hydro projects, including: Revelstoke Unit 5 Project, Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse Upgrade, and the Gordon M. Shrum Turbine Replacement Project.

“We’re thrilled to have reached this important milestone in the Site C project and to be a part of this important legacy project for British Columbia,” said Bill Malus, president and CEO of Voith Hydro Canada. “Our initial on-site work will include building a facility at the dam site to manufacture the steel structures for the turbines and generators.”

About 150 workers will be on site during the peak of installation for the turbines and generators in 2022, which will occur in the powerhouse. The majority of this work will be performed by millwrights, electricians, pipefitters and boilermakers, with opportunities for apprentices in each of those trades.

Voith Hydro Canada, through the Construction Labour Relations Association, negotiated a labour agreement with the Bargaining Council of British Columbia Building Trades Unions, which represents construction craft unions in B.C. The labour agreement includes participation from 10 B.C. Building Trades Unions for the installation of the turbines and generators for Site C.

After mobilizing to the site, Voith Hydro Canada will start work on a temporary on-site manufacturing facility. Excavation and foundation preparation for the manufacturing facility will start this month and construction of the facility building is expected to be completed in August.

The Site C Clean Energy Project is a hydroelectric dam and generating station under construction in northeast B.C. BC Hydro is building Site C to meet long-term electricity needs in the province. Once complete in 2024, the project will provide clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.

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