Conawapa Generating Station
In August 2014 we suspended study and planning activities for a possible hydroelectric development at the Conawapa site and initiated wrap-up activities of the work undertaken to date. The project may be reactivated at a later date, depending on the outcome of an Integrated Resource Planning process, and whether a strong case for investment can be made.
The proposed site is located in northern Manitoba, Canada, in the Fox Lake Resource Management Area:
- Approximately 30 kilometres (km) downstream of the existing Limestone Generating Station and 70 km upstream of the Nelson River Estuary;
- Approximately 90 km downstream (east) of Gillam, MB.
The Conawapa Generating Station would be a clean and renewable energy project, and would be the largest project of its kind in Manitoba's history.
- Generating 1,485 megawatts (MW) capacity, the station would produce about 7,000 gigawatt hours (GWh), enough to service the equivalent of 636,000 homes with clean (low carbon footprint,) renewable energy.
- Conawapa would increase the overall hydroelectric generating capability of the Lower Nelson River to over 4,800 MW.
- Average annual energy production: 7,000 gigawatt hours.
- Flooded land area: approximately 5 square kilometres (almost entirely within the existing river bank).
- Generator units: 10.
This environmentally conscious project would reuse water already stored and regulated through the Stephens Lake Reservoir, limiting the estimated flooding to 5 sq-km of land. The flooded land would fall almost entirely within the natural banks of the Nelson River.
The project design, as much as possible, minimizes environmental effects and enhances project benefits. Studies to date have assessed project effects in the following areas:
- physical, aquatic, and terrestrial environments;
- socio-economic conditions, including possible effects to surrounding communities and traditional ways of life.
If a decision is made to proceed with the project, construction is expected to take 8.5 years to bring the first of 10 units on-line, with a total construction period of approximately 11 years.