Canadian Manufacturing

OPG starts $60M refurb of Niagara’s Sir Adam Beck generating station

The work includes refurbishing the 750-acre reservoir and installing a partial new liner at the OPG facility, which was originally built in 1921



NIAGARA FALLS, Ont—Construction is underway to refurbish Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) reservoir at the Sir Adam Beck Pump Generating Station (PGS). The facility, which is the largest in Canada, can hold the equivalent of the water from 8,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“We are refurbishing the reservoir so that it can operate for another 50 years or more as Canada’s largest and most flexible energy storage facility,” says Mike Martelli, OPG’s President Renewable Energy and Power Marketing.

The station uses electricity in off-peak periods to pump water into the reservoir so that the water can be used to generate emission-free power when electricity demand is high.

Sir Adam Beck I generating station has served Ontario since 1921. Sir Adam Beck II generating station opened in 1954. Both stations have been upgraded over the years, and along with the Pump Generating Station have a combined capacity of over 2,100 MW of clean renewable electricity—enough electricity to power 1 million 700 thousand homes.

The PGS was built in 1957 and can fight climate change by displacing up to 600MW of fossil fuel generation for up to eight hours. That’s the equivalent storage of about 100,000 batteries that power electric cars. Water in the reservoir is used at the pump generating station and again at the Beck station to generate clean electricity.

The civil construction work includes refurbishing the 750-acre reservoir and installing a partial new liner. With the reservoir now drained, crews are repairing the former Portage Road, which remained at the bottom of the reservoir when it was built. The old road will be used during construction to carry materials.

The total investment, including several years of planning to prepare for the project, is about $60 million.

“We’re excited to have won the competitive contract to refurbish the reservoir at the Pump Generating Station,” says Rankin Construction president Brian Rankin. We’re a local company and this work will ensure good jobs in the Niagara Region.” At peak, more than 100 workers will be employed on the project.

The rehabilitation work is expected to be completed this coming winter.

St. Catharines, Ont.-based Rankin Construction Inc. specializes in a wide range of heavy civil construction projects that include roads, bridges, sewer and water main, marine and renewable energy.

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