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Hydro Power

GE Renewable Energy to upgrade Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts’ Don Pedro Hydroelectric Power Plant in California

  • GE Renewable Energy to replace four turbines and generators as part of the life extension project of the Don Pedro hydropower plant
  • Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District seek to improve the efficiency, performance, and safety of the power plant’s equipment
  • The Provisional Acceptance Test is scheduled for December 2024.

Greenwood Village, CO; November 09, 2022 – GE Renewable Energy signed a refurbishment contract with the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) to modernize the powerhouse of the Don Pedro hydropower plant in California, which is jointly owned by TID and Modesto Irrigation District (MID). Upon completion of the refurbishment project, the maximum capacity of the facility will increase from 203 MW to approximately 268 MW. This amount of energy is sufficient to meet the energy needed to power approximately 150,000 homes. The new units will increase the power plant's efficiency, operating range and have a design life of 50 years.  

The scope of the project includes the replacement of 4 turbines and 3 generators and the repair of one additional generator. The main objective of the refurbishment is to maintain the overall plant equipment reliability for another five decades to come. In addition, the replacement of the units will increase their efficiency and performance in a way that responds to the growing needs of TID and MID customers. This upgrade will also help the Districts accomplish long term clean energy goals, and capture more flexible, fast ramping capacity for grid support. “The Don Pedro hydropower plant is critical to TID and MID, and we look forward to 50 more years of reliable operation. The modernization effort will enhance the efficiency and performance of the plant, and enable continued support of our grids and customers,” said Brad Koehn, TID’s Chief Operating Officer.

Pascal Radue, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Hydropower business said, “With the increase of renewable energy in California, grid stability is and will be critical and the installed hydropower fleet can be retrofitted to play a significant role. Helping our customers address the increased demands for flexibility is vital in today’s energy markets. We are very excited about this new partnership with TID and MID that enables us to clearly understand their needs and work side by side in order to provide a customized solution and execution plan that best meets their needs.”

Beyond providing electricity to the region, the Don Pedro power plant has another important mission. The original dam was built in 1923, with a storage capacity of only 289,000 acre-feet, the original dam held virtually enough water to accommodate farmers’ irrigation needs for a single growing season. Recognizing the need for increased storage to weather multiple dry year periods, the new Don Pedro Project, including the current dam and powerhouse, was built, creating a 2,030,000 acre-feet reservoir, not only providing for irrigation needs but also creating opportunities for recreation, flood control, and increased generation.


About the Turlock Irrigation District (TID)
The Turlock Irrigation District, located in Turlock CA, is the first publicly owned Irrigation District and is one of only four today that provides irrigation water and power to residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers within its service area. TID has been in the retail electric business since 1923. TID provides safe, low-cost, reliable energy to a growing customer base that today exceeds 240,000 home, farm, business, industrial and municipal customers. TID also serves 4,700 irrigation customers covering approximately 150,000 acres of farmland. For more information about TID visit and follow @TurlockID on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or Turlock Irrigation District on LinkedIn.

About the Modesto Irrigation District (MID)
The Modesto Irrigation District, established in 1887, is a vertically integrated public utility located in California’s Central Valley. MID provides irrigation water to more than 2,300 agricultural accounts irrigating close to 60,000 acres and electricity to more than 131,000 residential, commercial and agricultural accounts in Modesto, Empire, Salida, Waterford and Mountain House as well as parts of Escalon, Oakdale, Ripon and Riverbank. MID also treats, delivers and wholesales up to approximately 67,000 acre-feet of drinking water per year to the City of Modesto. For more information about MID visit or follow MID on Facebook (@modestoirrigationdistrict) and Twitter (@mod_irrigation).

About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy, an integral part of the GE Vernova portfolio of energy businesses, is a $16 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons.

GE Vernova, a dynamic accelerator comprised of our Power, Renewable Energy, Digital and Energy Financial Services businesses, focused on supporting customers’ transformations during the global energy transition.

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Turlock and Modesto
Image credit: Turlock Irrigation District
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Tim Brown
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Waldemar Oldenburger
GE Renewable Energy | Communications, Hydro Solutions
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