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Client Contractor

Location Canada

Sectors Construction

The challenge

Developing a rapid solution for a failed generator controlling floodgates

Control to the floodgates for a spillway was lost after the permanent generator failed. The dam and spillway diverts part of the Red River’s flow around Winnipeg, Manitoba, so periodic maintenance to the generator and motors controlling the floodgates was an important safety factor.

It was one of these maintenance intervals that resulted in a need for temporary power after the generator blew upon restart. One supplier was called before Aggreko, but it was quickly discovered the unit was not able to hold the necessary load. After this failed attempt, our team was brought in.


Project fact file

48 hour

Turnaround time from the initial call

300 kW

Continuous power

49 km

Length of waterway

The solution

Taking a step back to understand the big picture

During repairs to the damaged permanent generator, we provided a 300 kW, 600V generator within 48 hours. In any situation, we can supply loads ranging from 15kW to 250MW, along with distribution and cabling for quick installation.

Full control was restored once our generator was online. Rather than full-open and full-close floodgate operation, precise control provided by our generator allowed for the floodgates to be raised a few centimeters at a time.

This prevented the development of dangerous currents and waves in the waterway.


The Aggreko difference

Our team took the time to fully understand the problem at hand and we were able to get things right the first time.

The impact

Preventing larger-scale problems before they occur

Full control of the 49 km (29 mi) waterway was again restored, preventing flood damage to surrounding areas.

Because of the experience gained from this incident, operators of provincial waterways and water treatment facilities have become proactive about testing equipment regularly, and know they have a partner in us to properly size equipment for delivery without a hitch, thereby avoiding mishaps, such as what occurred when the incorrect sized generator was supplied.

A rapid resolution to a critical malfunction that in this case involved full control of floodgates was paramount.

Moreover, these cases highlight the importance of helping the client with public image as the local media quickly focused on the consequences should the spillway fail to divert flooding away from the Winnipeg area.

With expertise in the supply of backup and emergency generation, the importance of having a contact and dialogue with partners, such as the dam’s operator and maintenance contractor, delivers higher value by effectively accelerating delivery of required resources.


“Getting the right equipment online in emergency situations is essential for any industry. Delivering under pressure is what we do best.”

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