Manitoba Hydro's Jenpeg Generating Station on the upper arm of the Nelson River is one of the key elements in the successful development of the hydroelectric potential of northern Manitoba. In addition to generating electricity, Jenpeg's powerhouse and spillway structures are used to control and regulate the outflow waters of Lake Winnipeg, which in turn is used as a reservoir to store water to ensure enough water is available to run the northern generating stations. Regulating Lake Winnipeg for the purpose of producing electricity is in accordance with the terms of a licence granted to Manitoba Hydro in 1971.
Jenpeg is located 525 kilometres north of the City of Winnipeg, at the point where the west channel of the Nelson River flows into Cross Lake. The generating station is accessible by Provincial Highway #6 and Provincial Road #373. The nearest community to Jenpeg is Cross Lake, which is about 19 km to the northeast.
Jenpeg is the first generating station in North America to use bulb-type turbine generators (called units) – a European design developed to harness a low operating head, which is the waterfall created by the generating station's structure. The bulb-type unit is positioned horizontally and is set directly in the stream of water flowing through the intake gates. Its design does not require as deep a pit in the ground as conventional vertical units, which eliminates having to excavate deeply into the bedrock under the river.
Running time (2:35)
Watch a short video on the history and development of this generating station.