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Specializing in automation and control of hydroelectric power generation plants & associated infrastructure.


Automation of 7 vertical Seagull turbines
Bishop Falls Hydro - Newfoundland, Canada


Casco Systems LLC offers a wealth of experience automating hydroelectric stations and related projects such as fish ladders, elevators, and rubber dams.  A sample of typical projects is noted below.

Newport Hydro Automation (2005)
Developed PLC program and HMI system for three unit hydroelectric station.  This system provided automatic generator start and stop capabilities, alarm monitoring and annunciation, data logging and trending, and various control modes including load level control, pond level control, and gate position control.  System also provided remote control of head gate and minimum flow gate via a fiber optic Ethernet LAN.  In addition the control system provides dial in capabilities for remote monitoring of station condition by plant personnel.

Old Falls / New Dam Pond Level Control System (2005)
Provide PLC based water level control system for one and two generator hydroelectric stations.

Lamoille River Control System (2005)
HMI / SCADA system to provide supervisory control of four hydroelectric plants utilizing open architecture TCP/IP WAN and CIMPLICITY HMI software.

Clark Falls, Milton, & Peterson Hydro Station Automation (2005)
Replace ACS RTU's with S90-30 PLC SCADA system solution.  Expand system to provide load, pond, and gate position control, auto start / stop, and alarm annunciation.  Interface with Rubber Dam control system to coordinate water level control using dam, boards, generators, and minimum flow gate.

Weldon Hydro Station Automation (2005)
Developed PLC program to retrieve data from 14 GE Multlin 489, 745, & 750 relays, 4 Cutler-Hammer Exciter Control Units, and 4 Nexus 1250 Power Meters.  This program retrieved all metering data necessary for display on the Station SCADA system.

Gardiner Hydro Station Automation (2004-2005)
Completed automation upgrade of a semi-Kaplan generator and related auxiliary equipment.  Project included removing an existing GE Fanuc Series 6 PLC and OIT system.  These were replaced with a VersaMax PLC and CIMPLICITY HMI SCADA program.  System is capable of automatic start and stop, pond level control, and remote lockout reset to allow roving personnel complete flexibility in operating the plant.  SCADA access was provided using a dedicated Web Server, allowing remote workers to connect to the site using only a Java enabled web browser.

Hydro Station Automation (2003-2004)
Currently working on automation and semi-automation control system upgrades at different low-head hydro plants in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Hydro Station – Commissioning Support (2002)
Supported the commissioning of a new automation system and hydraulic actuator controlling two 2-MW generators.

Hydro Station – Automation / HMI System Programming (2002)
Programmed a GE Fanuc 90-30 PLC and CIMPLICITY HMI operator interface system to control two 3-MW generators and related equipment.  Project included interfacing to existing Woodward mechanical governors and existing SCADA system.  System allowed fully unattended operation, remote control, and automatic water level control.

Hydro Station – Governor / Automation Programming (2002-03)
Programmed eight AB SLC 500’s & PanelView 550’s to control seven hydro-electric governors and related equipment.  System automated all turbine/generator control and alarms functions, governor speed and load regulation, auto start/stopped units, interfaced with existing SCADA RTU, and communicated with a high-level water level control system via an Ethernet Network.  Project included coordination of seven PLC’s (one per unit) and a shared automatic synchronizing system.

A particular challenge on this project was the remote location and schedule for project commissioning.  This plant is located on the Exploits River in Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland.  Due to scheduling restrictions commissioning and installation was performed during the winter of 2002-2003 under extreme weather conditions.  Commissioning of the control and hydraulic systems as well as electrical control installation was supported by Casco Systems end to end, culminating in the commissioning of six new American Hydro Seagull horizontal 3MW turbine/generator units and the reconditioning of a seventh existing unit.  When completed the plant was able to be run remotely from the clients SCADA control center, providing a reliable, cost-effective power plant.

PLC Program Conversion (2002)
Converted ladder logic program originally written for a Series One PLC to a new VersaMax PLC platform.  Project involved determining how the original program worked and creating a new program with matching functionality for water level control.

Hydro Station Electronic Actuator Control (2002)
Designed and programmed a GE Fanuc 90-30 & Maple Systems OIT based electronic actuator control.  The new system provided off-line speed regulation and online gate position control of a hydroelectric turbine.  System was designed to replace an existing digital governor with a simple to configure, reliable system.

Hydro Station Fish Elevator (2001)
Programmed and commissioned GE Fanuc 90-30 PLC logic and Wonderware InTouch SCADA/HMI system to automate a fish elevator and associated water control system.  This fully automated system controlled large 2’ and 3’ modulating valves to provide attraction water through a fish passageway at specific flow rates and velocities.  As fish are attracted by this water flow, they are automatically captured and then lifted over the dam, allowing upstream passage for Atlantic Salmon and other species.  Involvement included all aspects of PLC and HMI system including motion control, operator interface, safety, and process control.

Diesel Generator Unit Control System (2001)
Modified an existing Allen Bradley SLC 500 program and RS View HMI system to add control and operator interface functions for a diesel generator.

Low Head Hydroelectric Station Automation
Programmed GE Fanuc PLC based automated control systems for manual and automatic control of multiple small hydroelectric stations.  Also implemented operator interface system for alarm annunciation and control functions.

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