Generating stations

Nearly all of the electricity we produce each year is clean, renewable power generated at 15 hydroelectric generating stations. In 2018, our total generating capability is 5,648 MW.

We also operate 2 thermal generating stations (Brandon and Selkirk) and 4 small remote diesel generating stations (Brochet, Lac Brochet, Shamattawa, and Tadoule Lake).

Brandon

Brandon has 2 natural gas-fired generators with diesel fuel used as backup.

In 2002, we added 2 natural gas-fueled combustion turbine generators. This increased the thermal station’s capacity by 250 MW, making it our fifth largest generating station.

The Brandon Generating Station is located on the south bank of the Assiniboine River in the City of Brandon.

  • Capacity 327 MW;
  • Construction started in 1958 and completed in 1969;
  • 2 turbine generators.

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Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is the first hydroelectric generating station that we built in northern Manitoba to produce electricity for the provincial power system after the Winnipeg River had been fully developed.

The Grand Rapids Generating Station is located on the Saskatchewan River, about 145 km southeast of The Pas.

  • Capacity 479 MW;
  • Cost $117 million;
  • Construction started in January 1960 and completed in November 1968;
  • 4 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines (all 3-phase): 230 kV to Winnipeg, Thompson, Overflowing River (The Pas), and Dauphin.
  • 4 spillway gates and 8 intake gates.

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Great Falls

Great Falls is our oldest hydroelectric generating station and is still in service today. It has an average annual generation of 750 million kWh.

The station was developed by the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company, an early forerunner of Manitoba Hydro. In 1923, the first generator went into service.

The Great Falls Generating Station is located on the Winnipeg River, about 25 km north of Lac du Bonnet.

  • Capacity 129 MW;
  • Construction started in 1914 (halted due to World War I and restarted 1919) and completed in 1928;
  • 6 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines: 115 kV to Pine Falls, Selkirk, and Winnipeg; 66 kV to nearby mines;
  • Powerhouse 116 metres long;
  • Waterfall drop 17.7 metres;
  • 4 spillway gates.

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Jenpeg

Jenpeg 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 is used as a reservoir to store water. This ensures 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.

It 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 (the waterfall created by a 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.

The Jenpeg Generating Station is located where the west channel of the Nelson River flows into Cross Lake, about 135 km south of the City of Thompson. The nearest community to Jenpeg is Cross Lake, which is about 19 km to the northeast.

  • Capacity 115 MW;
  • Cost $310 million;
  • Construction started in 1972 and completed in 1979;
  • 6 turbine generators;
  • Transmission line: 230 kV to Ponton;
  • Powerhouse 169 metres long;
  • 5 spillway gates.

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Kelsey

Kelsey was the first generating station we built. It supplied electricity to Thompson, and mining and smelting operations in the Moak Lake and Mystery Lake areas. The generating station was linked to the province’s electrical system 6 years after completion.

The generating station has a potential capacity of 464 MW, and a total dam and dyke volume of 130,408 m3.

The Kelsey Generating Station is located on the Nelson River, just over 90 km northeast of Thompson. It is about 137 km upstream from the Kettle Generating Station.

  • Capacity 286 MW;
  • Cost $50 million;
  • Construction started in 1957 and completed in 1961;
  • 7 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines: 138 kV AC lines to Thompson, Gillam, and Split Lake;
  • Powerhouse 202.5 metres long;
  • 9 spillway gates.

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Kettle

Kettle is our second largest hydroelectric generating station.

The Kettle Generating Station is located on the lower Nelson River, about 150 km west of York Factory.

  • Capacity 1,220 MW;
  • Cost $240 million;
  • Construction completed in 1974;
  • 12 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines: 138 kV AC to Radisson Converter Station; ±450 kV DC to Winnipeg;
  • Powerhouse 380 metres long;
  • 8 spillway gates and 36 intake gates.

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Laurie River I & II

The Laurie River generating stations originally went into operation in 1952 and 1958 respectively to support Sherritt Gordon mining operations. We purchased them in 1970 and officially took over on June 1 of that year.

Laurie River was named after a nearby lake, which was named after Patrick Laurie, publisher of the Saskatchewan Herald – the first newspaper published west of Winnipeg.

The Laurie River generating stations are located about 60 km south of Lynn Lake. Laurie II Generating Station is operated by remote control from Laurie I Generating Station.

  • Capacity 10 MW (2.5 MW at Laurie I, and 5 MW at Laurie II);
  • Construction completed in 1952 and 1958 (respectively);
  • 3 turbine generators (2 at Laurie I and 1 at Laurie II);
  • Transmission lines: 138 kV to Thompson; 230 kV to Thompson and Birchtree;
  • Powerhouse at Laurie River I 21 metres long, at Laurie River II 17.5 metres long;
  • Waterfall drop at Laurie River I 16.75 metres, at Laurie River II 19 metres;
  • 5 spillway gates each and 2 intake gates each.

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Limestone

Limestone is the fifth generating station built on the Nelson River and is the largest one in the province. In September 1990, the first generator went into service.

It has a total dam and dyke volume of 2,900,000 m3.

The Limestone Generating Station is located on the Nelson River, about 230 km south of Churchill.

  • Capacity 1,350 MW;
  • Cost $1.43 billion;
  • Construction started in 1985 and completed in 1992;
  • 10 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines: 230 kV AC to Henday Converter Station;
  • 500 kV DC to Winnipeg;
  • Powerhouse 299 metres long;
  • 7 spillway gates and 30 intake gates.

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Long Spruce

Long Spruce was our fourth generating station to be built on the Nelson River. The station is on a stretch of the Nelson known as the Long Spruce Rapids.

The Long Spruce Generating Station is located on the Nelson River, about 100 km west of York Factory.

  • Capacity 980 MW;
  • Cost $508 million;
  • Construction completed in 1979;
  • 10 generators;
  • Transmission lines: 230 kV AC to Radisson and Henday converter stations; ±450-kV DC to Dorsey Converter Station;
  • Powerhouse 300 metres long;
  • 6 spillway gates and 30 intake gates.

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McArthur Falls

McArthur Falls is the smallest and newest of the 6 generating stations operating on the Winnipeg River. It has an average annual generation of 380 million kWh. In 1954, the first generator went into service.

The McArthur Falls Generating Station is located on the Winnipeg River, about 120 km northeast of Winnipeg.

  • Capacity 56 MW;
  • Cost $24 million;
  • Construction started in 1952 and completed in 1955;
  • 8 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines: 115 kV to Pine Falls and Seven Sisters generating stations;
  • Powerhouse 177 metres long;
  • Waterfall drop 7 metres;
  • 8 spillway gates.

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Pine Falls

Pine Falls is the last generating station to use the Winnipeg River’s abundant waters before reaching Lake Winnipeg at Traverse Bay. In 1952, the first generator went into service.

Construction began in the late 1940s to keep the supply of electricity ahead of the demand, which was exceeding all earlier provincial power planner’s estimates – industry and agriculture were rapidly expanding.

The generating station has an average annual generation of 620 million kWh.

The Pine Falls Generating Station is located on the lower stretch of the Winnipeg River, next to the town of Powerview–Pine Falls.

  • Capacity 84 MW;
  • Cost $23.5 million;
  • Construction started in 1949 and completed in 1952;
  • 6 turbine generators;
  • Transmission lines: 115 kV to Great Falls and McArthur generating stations, and Parkdale; 66 kV to Grand Beach and Lake Winnipeg;
  • Powerhouse 151 metres long;
  • Waterfall drop 11.3 metres;
  • 6 spillway gates.

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Pointe du Bois

Pointe du Bois is the oldest power plant still in operation on the Winnipeg River. It was built by City Hydro, later known as Winnipeg Hydro, and bought by Manitoba Hydro in 2002.

In 1911, the first unit went into service. The generating station has an average annual generation of 599 million kWh.

The Pointe du Bois Generating Station is located on the Winnipeg River, approximately 38 km northeast of Lac du Bonnet.

  • Capacity 75 MW;
  • Cost $3.25 million;
  • Construction started in 1909 and completed in 1926;
  • 16 turbine generators (15 double horizontal shaft Francis Turbines and 1 Straflo turbine);
  • Transmission lines: 69 kV to Winnipeg; 138 kV to Slave Falls;
  • Powerhouse 135 metres long;
  • Waterfall drop 14 metres.

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Selkirk

Selkirk was powered by coal until 2002 when it was converted to natural gas. This reduced air emissions greenhouse gases, and noise. This thermal plant also provides a source of backup power during short-term emergencies, periods of high demand, or during drought years.

Selkirk is named after Lord Selkirk, the man who in the year 1812 brought Scottish settlers to the Point Douglas area close to Winnipeg.

The Selkirk Generating Station is located near the Red River, on the east side of Selkirk.

  • Capacity 132 MW;
  • Construction started in 1957 and completed in 1960;
  • 2 turbine generators (turbo-alternators).

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Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters is the largest producer of electricity on the Winnipeg River – it is fondly and respectfully described by engineers who designed and built it as the river’s mightiest generating station.

Seven Sisters was built in 2 stages. The first stage began in July 1929 and with the building of the powerhouse. In August 1931, it was completed and its 3 turbine generators produced a total of 75 MW. The second stage began after World War II in 1948. In 1952, the sixth and final unit went into service. It has an average annual generation of 990 million kWh.

The Seven Sisters Generating Station is located on the Winnipeg River, about 70 km east of Winnipeg.

  • Capacity 165 MW;
  • Construction started in 1929 and completed in 1952;
  • Transmission lines: 115 kV to Winnipeg;
  • 115 kV to Whiteshell area and Kenora, Ontario;
  • Powerhouse 128 metres long;
    Waterfall drop 18.6 metres;
  • 2 spillway gates.

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Slave Falls

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

Powerful falls and a natural island divided the river at Slave and made it an ideal location for a power plant. The builders saved huge sums of money by using the island’s granite base as a foundation – earning it the nickname “Million Dollar Island”.

In 1931, the first unit went into service. The generating station has an average annual generation of 499 million kWh. 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.

The Slave Falls Generating Station is located on the Winnipeg River, about 35 km east of Lac du Bonnet. The station is only accessible by a private road from Pointe du Bois.

  • Capacity 68 MW;
  • Cost $8.3 million;
  • Construction started in 1928 and completed in 1948;
  • 8 turbine generators (vertical propeller type);
  • Transmission lines: 138 kV to Winnipeg;
  • Powerhouse 180 metres long;
  • Waterfall drop 9.75 metres.

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Wuskwatim

Wuskwatim represents the first time we entered into a partnership with a First Nations community on a generating station project. The station is owned by the Wuskwatim Power Limited Partnership (WPLP), a legal entity involving Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) and Manitoba Hydro. We operate the station on behalf of the WPLP.

First Nations input was also critical during the design and planning phase of the project, which included combining traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge during the environmental assessment studies. Traditional knowledge will continue to play an important role in monitoring the operation of the project from an environmental perspective.

Wuskwatim’s low-head design meant the project created less than one half of a square kilometre of flooding, all contained within the immediate forebay area.

The Wuskwatim Generating Station is located on the Burntwood River, in the Nelson House Resource Management Area, approximately 45 km southwest of Thompson and 35 km southeast of Nelson House.

  • Capacity 211 MW;
  • Cost $1.3 billion;
  • Construction started in in 2006 and completed in in 2012;
  • 3 turbine generators (vertical propeller type);
  • Transmission lines: 230 kV Thompson and Herblet Lake Station;
  • Powerhouse 118 metres long.

View the Wuskwatim project development agreement.

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