Page, Ariz. • The transformers that increase the voltage to allow power generation at Glen Canyon Dam are getting upgraded.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says it has awarded a $37 million contract to Billings, Mont.-based Yellowstone Electric Co. to replace 12 transformers and related equipment. The three-year project begins in August 2017.

The transformers have been in place since 1964 when the power plant at Glen Canyon Dam went into operation. The eight generators are connected to the transmission grid through the transformers. Power is then sent to customers around the Southwest.

Federal officials say the new transformers are filled with oils that are safer and better for the environment.

The Bureau of Reclamation also is wrapping up a project to replace the turbines at the dam in Page near the Arizona-Utah line.

THE Glen Canyon Dam, with Lake Powell stretching behind it. photo: paul fraughton 5/19/07
Vegetation below Glen Canyon Dam that the day before was on dry ground, today ,Wednesday, March 5, 2008, is in the waters of the Colorado River, after valves at the dam were opened allowing more water to flow downstream. Paul Fraughton /The Salt Lake Tribune; 3/5/08