Niagara Hydropower Project Reaches New Milestone

by Antonio Pasolini on January 26, 2012

Photo: Ontario Power Generation

The Niagara Tunnel Project in Ontario, Canada has reached a significant milestone with half of the tunnel now fully lined with concrete.

When it is finished, the smooth concrete lining will ensure the efficient and uninterrupted flow of Niagara River water through this 10.2 km tunnel to the Sir Adam Beck generating stations for the next 100 years. Digging the tunnel using the largest hard-rock boring machine in the world, dubbed “Big Becky,” was completed last spring.

The Niagara Tunnel is one of the largest hydro electricity projects in the world and will supply enough clean, renewable electricity to power 160,000 homes when it goes online in 2013. It currently employs more than 400 people and it is estimated it will bring $1 billion in economic benefits to the region.

“The Niagara Tunnel Project is an example of how the province is transforming Ontario’s electricity system and investing in the clean energy economy. We are ensuring a clean, modern, reliable and affordable energy system that will power us today, and for generations to come,” said Chris Bentle, Minister of Energy.

Ontario has been investing heavily in hydropower. Since 2003, more than 100 megawatts of new and refurbished waterpower projects have come online in the region. That’s enough to power 50,000 homes.

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