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Feds award contract for dam improvements

Upgrades will enhance power capacity

— A $19 million upgrade will provide more water and energy from Grand Coulee Dam.

That’s the result of the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s decision to award a $19 million contract this month to American Hydro of York, Penn.

The contract calls for replacing and updating equipment for pump generating units five and six at the John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant.

“This effort is pivotal to the infrastructure modernization at the Keys Plant,” Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez said. “The pump units will provide greater efficiency, flexibility and capacity in hydropower production and water delivery.”

The plant is part of the Grand Coulee Dam Power Complex.

The complex also provides flood control, irrigation, hydropower production, recreation, stream flows and fish and wildlife benefits, officials said.

Construction will take place over the next two years while accommodating for irrigation demand.

The project is scheduled to be finished by January 2020.

The work approved this month continues a 20-year modernization effort at the plant.

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