Slave Falls Generating Station

Photo of Slave Falls Generating Station

Slave Falls Generating Station is located on the Winnipeg River, approximately 160 km northeast of Winnipeg by road, then 10 km down river from Pointe du Bois. The station is only accessible by rail, from Pointe du Bois. The Pointe du Bois Generating Station was built by City Hydro, later known as Winnipeg Hydro, and acquired by Manitoba Hydro in 2002.

The name Slave Falls is derived from an Indigenous legend. While trying to escape across the river from the warrior who enslaved her, a young woman was swept over the falls to her death.

Those powerful falls and the natural island, which divides the river at Slave, made it ideal for a power plant. By using the island’s granite base as a foundation, the builders saved huge sums of money, earning it the nickname “Million Dollar Island”.

Facts

  • Construction started 1928;
  • Construction completed 1948;
  • Cost $8.3 million;
  • In 1970, $743 thousand was spent to automate the Slave Falls plant, allowing it to be operated by remote control from the Pointe du Bois control room;
  • Capacity 68 MW;
  • Average annual generation 499 million kWh;
  • Waterfall drop 9.75 metres;
  • Powerhouse 180 metres long;
  • 8 turbine generators (vertical propeller type);
  • First unit in service 1931;
  • Transmission lines:
    • 2 138-kV lines run from Slave Falls to Scotland Avenue.
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Winnipeg River generating stations: Slave Falls

Watch a short video on the history and development of this generating station.

Play video: Winnipeg River: Slave Falls. (2:40)