BRILLIANT EXPANSIONProject Name: Brilliant Expansion Project
Output: Up to 120 Megawatts (MW)
Following more than two years of planning, permitting, project evaluation and public consultation, construction of the 120 MW Brilliant Expansion Project began in the spring of 2003. The Design-Build contract for this $207 million project was awarded to the Brilliant Expansion Consortium following a proposal competition process. The Consortium brought together the engineering and construction expertise of the Canadian companies SNC-Lavalin and Chant Construction, and a Swedish company, Skanska Civil Engineering AB. The turbine, generator and controls were provided under a subcontract by Alstom Canada.
The project consisted of the construction of a short intake channel and powerhouse, and excavations for a power and access tunnel, all on the left bank of the Kootenay River just below the Brilliant Dam. Along the same bank, in-river work realized tailrace improvements. Access to the site is by a new one km road through the Kootenay Quarry, where excavated rock has been stored for future use by the Ministry of Transportation.
To ensure that construction activities were carried out in an environmentally-sound manner, the contractor implemented a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan consistent with the regulatory approvals obtained for the project. During construction, the public was kept informed of project progress and issues
Commencing commercial operation in September 2007, the Brilliant Expansion will use seasonal flows, previously released through the spillways at the Brilliant Dam, to provide clean, renewable energy—enough to supply 50,000 homes.
At the peak of construction, on-site employment was approximately 400 workers, and over 85% were local residents. The project brought over $50 million in wages into the region, and over $44 million was injected into the local economy through the purchase of goods and services—surpassing the original estimate of $15 million!
Environmentally, the project will reduce excess dissolved gas levels harmful to fish and will offset an estimated 450,000 tonnes per year of climate changing carbon dioxide emissions that would otherwise arise from fossil fuel generation.
TAILRACE CLEAN-UP PROJECT
Beginning in the summer of 2008, Columbia Power Corporation (Columbia Power) undertook the tailrace clean-up project, awarding the contract to JJM Construction of Delta, BC. This major project included constructing a deflection wall on the north side of the tailrace, removing rock and debris from the facility's rock trap, and excavating the tailrace area down to the original design levels. These improvements were conducted to enhance both the operations and output of the Brilliant Expansion and have demonstrated through post-completion operations an energy improvement of approximately 6%. The outage period was also used for remedial works and improvements on the generating unit equipment within the plant. The work will help enhance the long-term reliability of the facility.