Ivyland, PA – On April 20, 2020, Seattle City Light (SCL) awarded a multi-year contract to American Governor to provide digital governor equipment, engineering, and site services to convert the four Woodward Analog Governors at SCL’s Ross powerplant. The award was made after a Competitive Bid process, in which American Governor leveraged its experience, expertise, and 20-year relationship providing critical governor support and training to SCL.
This, notably, is the first digital governor conversion SCL has performed in 15 years. American Governor aims to use its proven engineering, production, project management, and field service expertise to solidify future work with SCL, who owns and operates seven hydro plants with 22 hydro units.
The first two governor equipment packages are expected to be delivered in Fall 2020. Installation will be a joint effort: American Governor will demo and install the governor component assemblies and SCL will do the plant interconnection wiring. Commissioning is slated to begin in late November 2020, with the first two (2) units expected to be complete and back on-line by December 31, 2020. The remaining two equipment packages are projected to be delivered in Summer 2021 for Fall 2021 installation and commissioning.
SCL’s Ross powerhouse is a four-unit, 360MW hydropower facility constructed in the early 1950s near Diablo, Washington. Situated deep within the boundaries of the Ross Lake National Park, the powerplant is accessible only by boat. The legacy Woodward governors have been responsive and reliable, supported by American Governor.
Governor upgrades had not been considered until SCL decided to join the Energy Imbalance Market. Frequent, unpredictable load swings are expected, and SCL is also planning to upgrade their legacy GE Silco V voltage regulator systems to accommodate the expected operational changes.
Governor Upgrade Details
The existing Woodward Mod I Analog governors will be upgraded with an American Governor digital conversion package, including a 12” Human Machine Interface (HMI), new control valve manifold, and new speed and position sensing devices. Full local and remote governor control with advanced communications will be provided.
The existing Woodward distributing valve (wicket gate control) and low-pressure hydraulic system will be largely retained, with enhancements provided to increase data capture. Laptop computers with pre-loaded programming software will be provided to enable SCL engineers and technicians to re-program the controllers and HMIs as needed. Existing control wiring and external plant devices will be re-used as much as possible, so that most of the modifications can be made within the existing Governor Actuator cabinet.
The existing Woodward Air Brake control valves will be refurbished in American Governor’s Amherst, Wisconsin facility. Future project additions may include solenoid-operated unloader kits for the eight (8) large Woodward pump/motor assemblies.
About American Governor Company
American Governor Company provides fully engineered digital governor conversion systems for hydro plants, including PLC-based digital controls, electro-hydraulic valve manifolds, hydraulic power units, electronic feedback devices and unit/plant control and monitoring systems. Installation, start-up, commissioning and field training services are provided by our staff of experienced governor specialists and field service engineers. American Governor also provides full support for legacy governor systems, including a complete line of replacement parts for all types of Woodward governors and a growing inventory of new and reconditioned parts and assemblies for other OEM governors. American Governor offers Field Service, Training, Retrofit kits and Technical Support for legacy governors. The Training and Repair Facility near Stevens Point WI offers factory repair services for governor pumps and permanent magnet generators as well as our annual Governor School and twice yearly Focus Classes. American Governor has provided more than 600 digital governor upgrades and has supported over 1,500 hydropower plants in North America.