GE Power Systems supports turbine overhaul, grid modeling projects for BC Hydro

ATLANTA, GA, September 21, 2001 – Demonstrating the breadth of its offerings to the energy industry, GE Power Systems has supplied services and technology to support two diverse projects – a turbine overhaul and a transmission grid management program – for British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro), one of the largest electric utilities in Canada.

GE recently completed an overhaul of a Pratt & Whitney gas generator and power turbine that returned to service at BC Hydro’s Prince Rupert Station. In addition, GE software technology is being used by BC Hydro for a three-dimensional, transmission grid modeling and analysis project.

New Transmission Grid Model

GE Smallworld, a supplier of network solutions to the electric, gas and water utilities, announced that its Core Spatial Technology is being used to support BC Hydro’s 3-D modeling and analysis project. GE Smallworld, BC Hydro and Westech Information Systems Inc. are co-developing the GE Smallworld Transmission Grid Manager to tackle asset operation and management issues typically not addressed by conventional geographic information system (GIS) products.

David O’Brien, chief operating officer for Utilities and Public Systems Americas at GE Smallworld, said, “We are pleased to be working with BC Hydro and Westech to develop the Transmission Grid Manager. By sharing ideas and resources, all three companies benefit. We hope to use this process as a model for future product development.”

The Transmission Grid Manager provides information to manage vegetation in areas under transmission lines, tracks building encroachment on transmission line rights-of-way, and addresses environmental concerns on and adjacent to transmission rights-of-way. Three-dimensional base mapping and facility data are being used to tackle these issues.

“Three-dimensional data offers many advantages,” said Marv Everett, geographic information services manager for BC Hydro. “The operation and maintenance of a transmission power grid is very much a three-dimensional issue. There are towers with insulators and conductors hanging off of them and it is very important to know the three-dimensional spatial relationships between these facilities and other entities – such as the ground surface, vegetation and buildings-when addressing both safety and operational concerns.”

BC Hydro already is realizing benefits from the new system. The company can accurately determine conductor-to-ground clearances for safety and vegetation management applications, run “trickle analyses” to accurately predict herbicide runoff, calculate and display contours in real time, and perform many other 3-D functions. The 3-D facility management system is being developed and rolled out to users in phases. Initial development began in September 1999. The 3-D applications began in late 2000 with additional phases to be implemented through 2004.

GE Smallworld creates, markets and delivers network software solutions to the communications, utility, and public sector markets globally. The business has more than 870 customers in 44 countries around the world.

Westech Information Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of BC Hydro, and is one of the largest IT consulting companies in Canada with more than 360 employees. One of Westech’s specialized practices is providing development, maintenance, support of integrated geospatial information systems and training for GE Smallworld clients.

Turbine Overhaul

GE Aeroderivative and Package Services (GEAPS), a unit of GE Power Systems, provided turnkey power plant maintenance for the gas turbine overhaul project, including:

– technical services on site to remove the Pratt & Whitney FT4C-1 gas generator and power turbine

– installation of interim lease equipment

– overhaul and repair services at GEAPS’ Miami, FL depot

– re-installation and re-commissioning of the 25-megawatt gas turbine at the Prince Rupert Station.

The FTC-1 unit is used by BC Hydro in simple-cycle mode for power demand and peaking service. GEAPS’ Miami depot is equipped to service GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce aeroderivative gas turbines. GEAPS repairs and overhauls approximately 35 Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce gas turbines per year at the Miami site.

The Miami depot is one of four centers of excellence for GEAPS, with the others located in Agotnes, Norway; Rheden, The Netherlands; and Houston, Texas. The business also has seven field service support offices in the Americas, six in Europe and four in Asia.

BC Hydro ( is a provincial Crown corporation and serves more than 1.5 million customers in an area containing over 94% of British Columbia’s population. In 2000, domestic electric sales volume reached 46,442 gigawatt hours.

About GE Power Systems

GE Power Systems ( is one of the world’s suppliers of power generation technology, energy services and management systems with 2000 revenue of $15 billion. The business has the largest installed base of power generation equipment in the global energy industry. GE Power Systems provides equipment, service and management solutions across the power generation, oil and gas, distributed power and energy rental industries.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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