Ontario invests $600 million to refurbish R.H. Saunders Generating Station in Cornwall

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario will spend $600 million to refurbish its second-largest hydroelectric station, which will help the province meet its growing electricity demand and meet its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

“This investment in the R.H. Saunders Generating Station will help ensure that Ontario continues to have a reliable and affordable supply of clean electricity for years to come,” Energy Minister Todd Smith said in a statement last Friday. “The refurbishment will also create hundreds of jobs in Cornwall and support the province’s economic growth.”

The R.H. Saunders Generating Station in Cornwall is one of two hydroelectric stations in Ontario that will be refurbished as part of the province’s Powering Ontario’s Growth plan, which is aimed at increasing the supply of clean electricity and reducing emissions by 2050.

The refurbishment work at the R.H. Saunders station will include the major rehabilitation of generating equipment through civil, electrical, and mechanical improvements. The station, which is located on the St. Lawrence River, has been in operation since 1958 and currently meets approximately five per cent of Ontario’s power needs.

“The R.H. Saunders Generating Station has been a reliable source of clean power for Ontario for 65 years, and this refurbishment will ensure that it continues to operate for many years to come,” said Paul Seguin, senior vice-president, renewable generation at OPG. “The project will also create hundreds of jobs and support the local economy.”

The work at the Cornwall site is expected to take 16 years and will create more than 200 jobs in Cornwall during construction. Once complete, the station is expected to produce an additional 160 gigawatt hours of clean electricity each year, which will be enough to power more than 19,000 homes.

The refurbishment work at the generating station is part of a broader plan to invest in Ontario’s hydroelectric fleet, which includes the development of new transmission lines in Southwestern, Northeastern, and Eastern Ontario to support the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.

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