Trends Spring 2016 - Page 5

in December, explained Jason Ingram, Ayres’ manager of land survey. This scanning process is more cost-effective and much more precise than physically inspecting all parts of the site and making architectural drawings by hand, Ingram said. “And,” he added, “the level of detail we get is much higher. I mean, they will see pits in the concrete – that’s how dense and accurate the data set is.” The data from the HD laser scans will be used to create a three- dimensional computer model of the powerhouse, and from that model Balciunas and his team will draw up plans for restoring the powerhouse. The first and most important decision to be made in drawing those plans is choosing how to replace the facility’s original electrical-generating turbines, Haug said. “They’re very old types of turbines. They’re inefficient; they make lots of noise. I mean, they’re dinosaurs,” he said. “It’s just incredible they’re still working, but they’ve outlasted their usefulness like two times over.” These turbines, which have a total electrical generating capacity of only 2.2 megawatts, will be replaced by “state-of-the-art, super- efficient turbines that will double the generating capacity of the powerhouse,” Haug said. Choosing the number, type, and size of the new turbines will dramatically impact the design and final cost of the powerhouse project. Currently, that cost – which will include a new parking lot, landscaping, security fencing, repair of a nearby retaining wall, and construction of access bridges across the dam – is projected at $15 million to $20 million, Haug said, with about 30 percent of that cost being the new turbines. Now in the planning phase, construction of the project is slated to begin in late 2017, with completion expected in 2020. TRENDS │5