Alstom is about to deliver a refurbished Francis turbine wheel to the Genissiat hydroelectric power station, located on the border between Ain and Haute-Savoie departments, in France. Weighing in at 28.5 tonnes and 4.17 metres in diameter, the wheel was initially commisionned in 1952 and has operated for over 250,000 hours prior to heading for the Alstom workshops in Grenoble to be refurbished. It has taken seven months to conduct expert analyses, perform hardfacing and check and rebalance the wheel, which will be operational once again as of October 2014.
Operated by Compagnie Nationale du Rhone (CNR), the Genissiat power station generates 420 MW (six 70-MW units) and produces 1.7 billion KWh per annum, representing 10% of CNR’s production. Two out of the six wheels in the Genissiat power station were manufactured in the Alstom workshops in Grenoble and delivered in 1948. On another note, this was the first hydroelectric power station commissioned by CNR among the 19 hydroelectric facilities built on the river.
Thanks to its know-how and its familiarity with hydroelectric power stations along the Rhone River, Alstom was chosen by CNR to perform this critical refurbishment operation. Indeed, Alstom enjoys substantial experience in the assessment, maintenance, retrofit and modernisation of operating hydroelectric power stations, thanks to an array of working facilities accounting for more than a quarter of all hydroelectric power stations worldwide. This specialised know-how involves all services relating to the facilities (inspection, maintenance, repairs, spare parts and diagnoses), limited refurbishment work and major retrofit projects, as well as the supply of all kinds of material like turbines, generators and control/command systems. Alstom’s hydroelectric maintenance departments can provide station operators with solutions that are flexible even though they have been widely tried and tested. Standard or bespoke, the solutions can be used to extend the lifecycle of the equipment, ensure maximum availability of the facility, facilitate operation with optimal yield, and even increase performance.
Alstom in Grenoble
Founded in 1917, the Alstom Renewable Power facility in Grenoble covers the entire hydropower value chain, including R&D, sales and marketing, engineering and design, purchasing, manufacturing, project management, installation and commissioning, service and retrofit.There are 850 employees working at the facility in the various departments.
About Alstom Renewable Power
Covering all electricity production technologies (coal, gas, oil, nuclear, hydroelectrical, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal, biomass, solar), Alstom offers the most complete range of products in the market, and is the world number one for turnkey power plant projects and electricity production services. In keeping with its commitment to supplying reliable, versatile, competitive and eco-responsible technology, Alstom founded the Alstom Renewable Power sector in 2011, a unit fully devoted to renewable energy and intended to harness planetary resources like wind, water and sunlight. The Group has installed close to 25% of worldwide hydraulic power generation capacity and boasts international onshore wind turbine references. By investing in solar thermal and marine energies, Alstom is continuing to expand its broad range of renewable energy solutions. Alstom Renewable Power has 9,209 employees worldwide and had sales of €2.6 billion in 2013/2014.