The Millstone asked Scott Newton, manager of the Brian J. Gallagher generating station about the discovery of Enerdu flashboard which blocked the intake of the generator on August 24. The culprits who vandalized the flashboards have not been located to date. This is Mr. Newton’s response:
On Saturday morning (August 24th) ENERDU installed the flashboards on the upper falls, as has been common practice for roughly 170 years.
Later that evening, just after dark (approximately 9:30pm-11:30pm) many of the flashboards floated into the MRPC intake, restricting flow into the penstock and turbine. This resulted in reduced generation output. With flow being restricted into the penstocks, our flow monitoring equipment detected the trash rack differential, which is the difference in height of water in front of and behind the racks. As there were obstructions in the racks, the difference got to be quite high, resulting in an alarm call. Our staff member on-call received an alarm call at 11:15pm alerting him to attend the station to investigate the issue. The trashracks were cleaned and the boards set aside (9 in all).
On Monday our staff noticed boards strewn about the falls, and retrieved them (23 in all).
The cost to MRPC of this act was roughly 1.5 hours of a 200KW to 400KW reduction in output, after hours call-out compensation to our staff and nearly 3 hours’ wages spent retrieving the boards from the falls.