New Hampshire’s Amoskeag Hydroelectric Power Station Gets An Upgrade

New Hampshire's largest electric utility optimises its hydropower generation.
Published: Tue 27 Jan 2015

Power management company Eaton has provided Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH), a Northeast Utilities company, with engineering services and power distribution equipment for an electrical equipment replacement at its Amoskeag hydroelectric station which is located on the Merrimack River in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Reliable power generation

The project, which will support reliable power generation at the facility, coincided with a planned system maintenance to reduce downtime.

“Our equipment replacement project is designed to enable the Amoskeag hydroelectric station to provide safe, reliable and sustainable power well into the future,” said Ryan McGlone, project manager at Public Service of New Hampshire. “We leveraged Eaton’s electrical engineering expertise to support this critical equipment replacement and maintain our aggressive project timeline.”

Maximising hydropower infrastructure

Under the contract, Eaton provided engineering, procurement and construction services for the replacement of a generator step-up unit transformer, modified and upgraded high voltage bus and structures, upgraded the protection and control configuration and replaced the low-voltage power distribution equipment. The project also included power management solutions from Eaton and was completed late last year.

“The project will allow Public Service of New Hampshire to maximize the capabilities of Amoskeag’s clean, hydro power infrastructure,” said John Stampfel, vice president and general manager, Electrical Engineering Services and Systems Division, Eaton. “With an expert, highly scalable and geographically diverse staff, Eaton is well positioned to help the utility continue providing a reliable stream of sustainable energy to its customers.”

Located on the Merrimack River in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Amoskeag hydroelectric station includes three generating units that produce 17.5MW of renewable power. It is one of nine hydroelectric stations owned and operated by Public Service of New Hampshire throughout the state. Together, these renewable energy resources produce a total of 70.5MW of electricity.

Hydropower assets are key

Based on recent documentation submitted to the NH Public Utilities Commission, hydro operations will be responsible for about 11% of the approximately 3,016,000MWh of electricity that PSNH is planning to generate from its own facilities. These are PSNH’s lowest cost electricity generators and are therefore an important asset to keep in operation and perhaps even consider expanding.

It is interesting to note that the upstream Amoskeag hydroelectric operation has been producing a steady supply of electricity for the past ninety years.

Further reading

Public Service Company of New Hampshire – 2014 Energy Service Rate Calculation [pdf]