The Ontario government and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced plans to refurbish its hydroelectric stations in the Niagara region, including the Sir Adam Beck complex at Niagara Falls. This $1 billion dollar infrastructure program would secure up to 1,700 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity, equivalent to powering 1.7 million homes.

“For more than 100 years hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls has powered our province, and with today’s investment we’re extending the life of these stations by another 30 years to help Ontario meet its growing electricity needs,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “This refurbishment program – part of our Powering Ontario’s Growth Plan – will create jobs and ensure we have the power we need for the next major international investment, the new homes we are building and industries as they grow and electrify.”

OPG and its partner, GE Vernova, will refurbish up to 25 units in total at the Sir Adam Beck Complex as the first phase of this work beginning in 2025, increasing the stations capacity by up to 50 MW. OPG is also developing future plans for its DeCew I and DeCew II generating stations in the region. The work at the Sir Adam Beck complex will take place over the next 15 years.

“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 President and CEO. “Through this refurbishment, this hydropower facility will build on its century-plus history, and continue to produce the low-cost, reliable electricity Ontarians need for decades to come.”

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The Sir Adam Beck facility produces about 12,300 gigawatt-hours of energy each year – about 35 per cent of OPG’s hydroelectric production, or about nine per cent of the electricity produced in Ontario.

“This agreement builds on a century-long relationship between GE Vernova and OPG to advance the energy transition in Ontario and in Canada. Looking at the future, it confirms a new dynamic in the hydropower industry marked by closer and longer-term collaboration to secure the supply chain and increase the productivity of the projects. The modernization of these power plants is expected to extend the life of the assets for over 30 years, and increase the generation of sustainable, reliable and affordable electricity. ” saijd Frederic Ribieras, CEO of GE Vernova’s Hydro Power business.

“Ontario is blessed with a diverse supply of clean energy sources. Through this historic investment in the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations, we are able to keep costs down for families while funding more reliable sources of energy,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This investment will ensure a future of clean, reliable and affordable power in the province for generations to come.”

Featured image: Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations, Niagara Falls, Ont.  (OPG)

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