Ontario Power Generation in Canada is preparing to refurbish up to five hydroelectric stations in Niagara Falls, securing about 1,700 MW of clean power for another 30-plus years.

OPG’s hydroelectric stations in Niagara Falls have generated clean, reliable and affordable electricity for Ontario for more than a century, powering the province’s growth and helping establish the low-carbon electricity system we enjoy today.

OPG’s Niagara Operations encompass five hydro generating facilities, including the Sir Adam Beck I and II GS, Sir Adam Beck Pump GS, and DeCew I and II GS. Each year, these plants meet about 9% of Ontario’s energy needs.

Now, this fleet of stations is set to undergo a multi-year refurbishment to keep producing reliable power for Ontario’s electrification and future growth, while supporting OPG’s net-zero goals.

In April, OPG announced it is partnering with General Electric Vernova to complete the first phase of the $1 billion refurbishment project. Starting in 2025 and lasting over 15 years, GE will refurbish up to 25 units at the Sir Adam Beck I and II stations, increasing these plants’ capacity by up to 50 MW.

This work will build on OPG’s long relationship with GE, which manufactured the original generating units still in operation at some of OPG’s sites in Niagara. It will also create more than 200 highly skilled jobs in the Niagara region.

OPG is also developing refurbishment plans for its DeCew I and II stations.

“Upgrading and optimizing OPG’s renewable generation workhorses like the Sir Adam Beck complex is crucial to support the growing demands of electrification and a thriving economy,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s president and chief executive officer. “Through this refurbishment, these hydropower stations will build on their remarkable legacy and continue to produce the low-cost, reliable electricity Ontarians need for decades to come.”

The initiative is part of OPG’s commitment to invest in updating and upgrading its hydroelectric fleet. This wider turbine-generator refurbishment program will result in the renewal of 48 OPG hydro stations to extend station life, while also increasing efficiency and, in some cases, generating output.

At Niagara, the refurbishment of older generating units will involve removing some key components, including the turbine runners. These parts will be replaced with newer, more efficient designs that will require less water to generate power.

OPG’s Sir Adam Beck I GS went into service in 1922 and was considered the largest hydro plant in the world at the time. In 1954, its sister station, the 16-unit Sir Adam Beck II GS, went into service and remains Ontario’s largest hydro station by generating capacity.

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