American Hydro to modernise Keokuk plant

20 October 2020

American Hydro, part of Wärtsilä Corporation, has been awarded a major contract to perform rehabilitation services and complete the upgrade and refurbishment of the Unit 5 & 15 turbines at Ameren’s historic Keokuk hydroelectric plant in Iowa, USA. The order with Ameren Corporation was booked in July.

American Hydro designed, manufactured and delivered new 200 inch, 120 000 pound Francis type runners for these units under a previous contract. The new contract includes all field labour and supervision to conduct a simultaneous two-unit outage, dismantling of the major turbine and generator components, shop and field rehabilitation and machining, installation of the new runners and refurbished turbine components, and commissioning of the upgraded turbines.  Engineering and planning are currently underway, and the outages are scheduled to start this autumn and finish in the spring of 2021. Upon completion of this work, American Hydro will have upgraded all 15 turbines at the Keokuk plant, a project that has been ongoing for 20 years.. 

“Keokuk’s …  continued safe, efficient operation is foundational to Ameren's net-zero carbon emissions goal," said Warren Witt, director of hydro operations at Ameren Missouri.

The 142 MW Keokuk hydro plant was originally commissioned in 1913 and has been in continuous operation with the original equipment since that time. It is the largest privately owned and operated dam and hydroelectric generating plant on the Mississippi river. The plant is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as Lock and Dam No. 19.

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