Construction has started on the new Calabogie Generating Station in eastern Ontario


The $140 million Ontario Power Generation rebuild project will replace the now out-of-service, 4.8 mega-watt powerhouse. The century-old facility was damaged in 2018 by a tornado.

The new higher capacity powerhouse will be positioned about 50 metres upstream from the existing building.

The forebay, the pool of water that will feed into the station, is also being redesigned for more efficient operation. The preparatory work done earlier this year included the old tornado-damaged powerhouse to be left standing in place, to act as a barrier to keep the new site dry.

According to a statement from OPG renewable generation division project manager Kevin Kaczmarczyk, the whole site has had to be redeveloped for this rebuild.

“It’s so much more than just a building. We had to make sure all the hydraulic conditions are satisfied, and the entire forebay had to be reshaped and opened up,” he said.

Other works included widening and strengthening roadways for dump trucks and clearing the site of vegetation.

It is expected to be operational in 2022 and the two-unit station will be powered by water from the Madawaska River, doubling the capacity of clean, hydropower generation to nearly 10.7 mega-watts – enough to power nearly 10,000 homes.

According to the OPG statement, the Calabogie site had not taken the full advantage of the volume of water coming from the upper Madawaska River. Water levels and flows are also not expected to change as per the existing Water Management Plan.

OPG awarded the design contract to SNC Lavalin, while M. Sullivan & Son will handle construction. Local workers from First Nations have also been hired for jobs including carpenters, operators, labourers, and truck drivers.

Contractors recently started working under physical distancing guidelines amid Covid-19 pandemic, which included excavating the existing forebay, moving tonnes of rock and sediment.

OPG also stated the overall footprint of the new site will remain on 10 hectares.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.