Kelsey Generating Station

Photo of Kelsey Generating Station

The Kelsey Generating Station was built on the upper arm of the Nelson River in northern Manitoba between 1957 and 1961 to supply the International Nickel Company’s (INCO) mining and smelting operations in the Moak Lake and Mystery Lake areas. Kelsey was also built to supply electricity to the City of Thompson. Six years after completion, the generating station was linked to the province’s electrical system.

Kelsey is located 680 km by air from Winnipeg, and was the first Manitoba Hydro generating station to be built on the Nelson River. It is about 137 km upstream from the Kettle Generating Station.


  • Located on Nelson River;
  • Construction started 1957;
  • Construction completed 1961;
  • Cost $50 million;
  • Capacity 286 MW (potential 464 MW);
  • Powerhouse 202.5 metres long, 53.7 metres wide;
  • 7 turbine generators (units);
  • Transmission lines:
    • 3 138-kV AC lines to Thompson;
    • 1 138-kV AC line feeding Split Lake;
    • 2 138-kV AC lines to Gillam (which feed Gillam, Ilford, and Churchill).
  • 9 spillway gates, each measuring 12.2 metres by 13.6 metres;
  • Total dam and dyke volume 130,408 m3.