At a number of our older hydroelectric generating stations, some of the units that harness the power of falling water to produce electricity, are reaching the end of their useful life. The requirement to replace these units, either in part or in whole, creates an opportunity to introduce modern equipment and designs that can increase the amount of electricity generated using the same water resource.
Pine Falls Generating Station re-runnering
The Pine Falls Generating Station will re-runner, or replace, 2 of the plant’s 6 turbine runners. Modernizing these 2 units at the 64-year-old station will replace worn parts and also increase efficiency, allowing us to generate more electricity using the same water resource. The current capacity of the Pine Falls Generating Station is 88 MW and is expected to increase to 99 MW when both new runners are in place.
Construction activity will happen entirely within the Pine Falls Generating Station and is not anticipated to affect travel across the station on Hwy. 304 or otherwise disrupt residents.
We completed a Water Regime Effects Assessment and an Aquatic Ecosystem Impacts Investigation to describe any anticipated effects. While some potential effects were identified, they were very minimal in nature. There will be a shift in the main flow path within the downstream river channel, however the range of water velocities will be the same as currently experienced by anglers below the station. There will be no change with respect to access to the Winnipeg River downstream of the Pine Falls Generating Station.
The Pine Falls re-runnering work will cost approximately $54 million dollars. The first unit has been replaced and put back into service, while the second unit will be taken out of service late 2018.