Ontario Power Generation has announced that the redeveloped Calabogie Generating Station is back in service, providing more clean hydropower for the Canadian province of Ontario.
Following months of rigorous testing and commissioning, the redeveloped hydroelectric station's two new units officially commenced operations in April, generating approximately 10.7MW of power from the Madawaska River.
Originally constructed by the Calabogie Light and Power Company in 1917 to support local development and the lumber industry, the Calabogie GS was acquired by OPG's predecessor, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, in 1929. The station stood as one of OPG's oldest hydro stations until a tornado caused extensive damage in 2018.
In 2020, construction began on the new Calabogie GS, situated approximately 50m upstream from the original powerhouse. The enhanced station features larger turbine units capable of handling a greater volume of water, thanks to a reshaped forebay and tailrace. This design results in less spill and increases power generation, effectively doubling the output of the original plant.
“This is an important clean energy project for OPG and, in fact, all of Ontario,” said Tony Palma, Senior Manager of Projects at OPG. “We were able to rebuild from the ground up a modern, more efficient station at this existing site, which will provide many more decades of clean power to support Ontario’s future and electrification.”
To complete the redevelopment of the Calabogie GS, OPG collaborated with KGS Group, its owner's representative, to define the technical parameters. A joint venture between SNC-Lavalin, responsible for the station's design, and M. Sullivan & Son, leading the construction efforts, spearheaded the development.
Throughout the planning and execution phases, OPG engaged with Indigenous communities, including the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, the Algonquins of Ontario representing nine Algonquin communities, and four Williams Treaties First Nations – Alderville First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, and Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
The Calabogie GS redevelopment project aligns with OPG's Climate Change Plan goals, which include achieving net-zero emissions by 2040 and supporting the economy's net-zero target by 2050. By investing in its fleet of 66 hydroelectric stations across Ontario, OPG ensures these assets continue to provide clean and reliable electricity to support the province's growing economy and the increasing demands of electrification.
As one of OPG's five hydro stations on the Madawaska River, boasting a combined capacity of approximately 620MW, the Calabogie GS has been a cornerstone of the region for many years. “We are very proud to be able to build on and continue the original station’s legacy at this site,” said Palma. “Calabogie will continue to play a major role in supporting the local economy in this area and providing clean power for the wider province for many years to come.”