Turbine completes Brazil-to-Revelstoke journey

New turbine emerges from 100-metre tunnel on access road to Revelstoke Dam.

Posted by Jennifer Walker-Larsen

The road trip is over! The brand new giant turbine has arrived safe and sound at its new home, the Revelstoke Generating Station.

The REV 5 turbine, as it’s called, will now be installed at our Revelstoke Generating Station to help provide more electricity to BC Hydro's customers. The turbine will power a 500 megawatt generating unit and produce enough energy to power about 40,000 homes every year. But getting the turbine to Revelstoke was an enormous challenge.         

It was built in Brazil and travelled over 12,000 km to get to Revelstoke. And the thing is huge. It's over seven metres in diameter and weighs 188 tonnes, that weight is the equivalent of 32 African elephants.

From June 17th to August 31st the turbine travelled by ocean freighter, barge and transport truck – but now this world traveller has been grounded. The next step for the Revelstoke Unit 5 Project is to carefully place the turbine into its final resting place alongside the facility’s other four turbines.

Here are two more photos showing the last leg of the REV 5 turbine's incredible journey. You'll see a truck pulling the specialized transport trailer. The trailer was just under 100 metres long and had 148 tires to distribute the heavy load and prevent damage to the bridges between Shelter Bay and the Revelstoke Dam. All told, the combined weight of the transporter and the turbine exceeded 340 tonnes.

The final hurdle was taking the turbine through the approximately 100-metre tunnel along the access road to the powerhouse at Revelstoke Dam. BC Hydro widened the tunnel earlier this spring. A few weeks before the truck transport BC Hydro took a wooden replica of the turbine through the tunnel to make sure it would fit.

I think this turbine and its transport crew deserve applause…Welcome home!

Jennifer Walker-Larsen is a BC Hydro stakeholder engagement advisor.