OPG announces $1-billion refurbishment for Niagara Region hydroelectric stations


Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Ontario government have announced a $1 billion refurbishment project for hydroelectric stations in the Niagara region, including the Sir Adam Beck complex at Niagara Falls. The extensive infrastructure program is expected to secure up to 1,700 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity, capable of powering 1.7 million homes.

“For more than 100 years, hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls has been vital for our province. This investment extends the life of these stations by another 30 years, enabling Ontario to meet its growing electricity needs,” energy minister Todd Smith said in a statement. “The refurbishment program, part of our Powering Ontario’s Growth Plan, will create jobs and ensure a reliable power supply for new homes, industries, and major international investments.”

Phase one of the project will start in 2025 and will involve the refurbishment of up to 25 units at the Sir Adam Beck Complex to increase capacity by up to 50 MW. OPG is also considering plans for future upgrades at its DeCew I and DeCew II generating stations in the region. Work at the Sir Adam Beck complex is expected to take up to 15 years.

“Upgrading and optimizing OPG’s renewable generation assets like the Sir Adam Beck complex is essential to support the demands of electrification and a flourishing economy,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG president and CEO. “Through this refurbishment, this hydropower facility will continue its century-long legacy, providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Ontarians for decades to come.”

The Sir Adam Beck facility currently produces about 12,300 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, representing roughly 35 per cent of OPG’s hydroelectric production and about 9% of Ontario’s total electricity output.

“This agreement strengthens a century-long collaboration to advance the energy transition in Ontario and Canada,” said Frederic Ribieras, CEO of GE Vernova’s Hydro Power business. “It also emphasizes a new dynamic in the hydropower industry, marked by closer and longer-term cooperation for increased productivity and secured supply chains.

“The modernization will extend the life of the plants for over 30 years and increase the generation of sustainable, reliable, and affordable electricity.”

Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks, praised the investment: “Ontario boasts a diverse supply of clean energy sources. This historic investment in the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations allows us to maintain low costs for families while bolstering reliable energy sources. It ensures a future of clean, reliable, and affordable power for generations to come.”


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