Hydropower, News

OPG says 10-MW expansion of Ranney Falls to be complete by end of October

The 10-MW expansion of the Ranney Falls Generating Station, which will double the station’s capacity, should be complete by end of October, Canadian utility Ontario Power Generation says.

OPG is replacing the station’s G3 unit – a “worn out” 800-kW unit from 1926 – to improve the available hydroelectric potential at the site. The new unit is housed in a new powerhouse and the total station capacity will double from 10 MW to 20 MW.

The new powerhouse sits adjacent to the existing main powerhouse building, which houses the two original 4.8-MW units that were commissioned in 1922 and are still going strong. It features the same rose-colored stone exterior as the existing 1922-era powerhouse. The old building that housed the original G3 unit remains standing as an homage to its historic role in the community.

“We want to maintain the heritage of these buildings and the aesthetic feel of the community, and this approach allows us to preserve the past while building our future,” said Iskander Boulos, OPG Ranney Falls G3 project manager.

The station is nestled along the Trent River just south of Campbellford.

The new G3 unit, featuring an ECOBulb turbine runner, is more than 90% complete, OPG says. The project is expected to be in service by Oct. 31, 2019.

Project construction began in March 2017, and OPG says special care was put into managing the environment around the site, including a seniors’ residence just meters away and habitat for endangered northern map turtles.