Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is gearing up for a comprehensive refurbishment project that will rejuvenate up to five hydroelectric stations in the Niagara Falls region, including the Sir Adam Beck I and II stations.

This ambitious undertaking is expected to secure approximately 1700MW of clean and reliable power to fuel Ontario’s future energy demands. With OPG’s Niagara stations currently accounting for about 9% of Ontario's energy requirements, the refurbishment aims to bolster the province's renewable energy capacity while reinforcing OPG's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions.

Recently, OPG announced it is partnering with General Electric Vernova (GE) to complete the initial phase of the $1 billion refurbishment project. Scheduled to commence in 2025 and spanning over 15 years, the collaboration will see GE refurbishing up to 25 units across the Sir Adam Beck I and II stations, potentially increasing their capacity by up to 50MW.

This work will build on OPG’s long-time relationship with GE, which manufactured the original generating units still in operation at some of OPG’s sites in Niagara. It will also create more than 200 highly skilled jobs in the Niagara region.

“Upgrading and optimizing OPG’s renewable generation workhorses like the Sir Adam Beck complex is crucial to support the growing demands of electrification and a thriving economy,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s President and CEO. “Through this refurbishment, these hydropower stations will build on their remarkable legacy and continue to produce the low-cost, reliable electricity Ontarians need for decades to come.”

This refurbishment initiative is part of OPG's broader commitment to modernizing its hydroelectric fleet across the province. The comprehensive turbine-generator refurbishment program will not only extend the operational life of 48 OPG hydro stations but also enhance their efficiency and output, furthering Ontario's transition to a cleaner energy future.

In the Niagara refurbishment process, older generating units will undergo significant upgrades, including the replacement of key components such as turbine runners, with more efficient designs that optimize power generation while minimizing water consumption.

As the cradle of Ontario’s clean electricity system, Niagara Falls has played an important role in powering the province and its growth, starting from incandescent light bulbs to major industrial machinery. 

OPG’s Sir Adam Beck I GS went into service in 1922 and was considered the largest hydro plant in the world at the time. In 1954, its sister station, the 16-unit Sir Adam Beck II GS, went into service and remains Ontario’s largest hydro station by generating capacity.

Today, OPG's Niagara Operations encompass the five hydro facilities of Sir Adam Beck I and II GS, Sir Adam Beck Pump GS, and DeCew I and II GS.

A view of the Sir Adam Beck I Generating Station in Niagara Falls.