Cornwall Generating Station renovation gets provincial support

The Ontario government is giving a major boost to the renovation of Cornwall’s hydroelectric station.

The government says it will support Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plan to renovate the RH Saunders Generating Station on the St. Lawrence. The $600 million project would upgrade 16 units at the station, allowing it to produce more electricity from less water.

“Today, the station continues to safely produce up to five per cent of Ontario’s electricity needs, helping to power our homes, charge our electric vehicles, grow our businesses and fuel our economy,” said Director of OPG plant operations, Scott Gagnon, on a news release. conference on Friday “And thanks to this renovation, we will continue to do so for decades to come.”

The project, which OPG says began in January 2023, is expected to be completed by 2039.

“Our government keeps the energy grid reliable. We keep the grid affordable. And it’s one of the cleanest grids in the entire world. And we’re very, very proud of that,” said Energy Secretary Todd Smith. “Once fully renovated, the station will produce 1045 MW. That’s over a gigawatt of safe, reliable and clean electricity. In other words, it’s enough to power a million homes in our province.”

The RH Saunders Generating Station, built in 1958, is the second largest hydro facility in the province. It is part of the larger Moses-Saunders Power Dam, shared with the United States. It was last revised in the late 1990s and early 2000s, OPG says.

The renovation will include major rehabilitation of generating equipment through civil, electrical and mechanical improvements, the government says. Once completed, the station is expected to produce up to 160 gigawatt-hours of additional clean electricity each year, equivalent to powering more than 19,000 homes.

Renovation of the RH Saunders Generating Station in Cornwall, Ont. aims to upgrade 16 units at the station, allowing it to produce more electricity from less water. (Jack Richardson/CTV News Ottawa)

“For us personally here in Cornwall, it is more than just an employer. It’s part of our community,” said Mayor Justin Towndale. “I grew up just around the corner from the dam myself, and that’s no exaggeration. My parents still live in that house and I can tell you that we have a partnership with OPG where we can use parts of this property for recreation. purposes and that provide added value to our community, our residents.”

The RH Saunders Generating Station has been a source of clean energy for Ontario for 65 years and currently meets about five per cent of the province’s energy needs.

The RH Saunders Generating Station is the second largest hydro facility in Ontario. (OPG/dismissed)

–With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Jack Richardson

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