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#4658074 - 02/06/18 02:15 PM Otonabee and Trent - small-scale Hydro-Electric
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36441
Loc: Ontario, Canada
As some as you know, IndyIan and myself both live in an area that's about an hour north-east of Toronto. Through this area runs a small river called the Otonabee, one of the first in the region damed for Hydro-Electric well over a century ago. In fact one of our installs is >130 years old.

This gave Peterborough, which is a small city and the hub of this area (~100,000 people) an advantage, and whose growth, early-on, like many small towns, revolved around the river. Canada Packers used to dump their meat bits right in the river, Quaker Oats had their own Hydro-Electric dam installed and General Electric setup shop here and built turbines. Peterborough also had Outboard Marine (Johnson/Evinrude), Westclox and other industrial players.

Between Peterborough and Lakefield there are five Hydro-Electric installs:

The following are owned/operated by Peterborough Utilities:

1. London Street Generating Station - This facility was built in 1884 for Quaker Oats, PUC bought it from Quaker in 1975. With some upgrades and expansion in the early 2000's, it now has an installed capacity of 10MW and produces roughly 40,000MWh annually.

2. Robert G. Lake Generating Station - Between locks 22 and 23, this is a relatively new facility, built in 2008. It has an installed capacity of 8MW and produces roughly 30,000MWh annually.

3. Stanley Adamson Powerhouse - Located near Trent University, this install was originally built by General Electric with a capacity of 1.5MW. It was upgraded in 2013 to an installed capacity of 3.9MW and produces roughly 18,000MWh annually.

And then there are the ones operated by Ontario Power Generation:


4. Lakefield Generating Station - In the town of Lakefield, upstream from Peterborough, built in 1928, it has an installed capacity of 2MW. OPG does not list annual output.

5. Auburn Generating Station - In the city of Peterborough and constructed in 1911, it was acquired by the province in 1916. It was originally built to power a woollen mill. It presently has an installed capacity of 2MW.



If we expand our scope a bit, we can also include:

1. Campbellford Generating Station - Built in 1910, it presently has an installed capacity of 6MW. - This is owned by Peterborough Utilities

2. Hagues Reach Generating Station - Built in 1925, also in Campbellford on the Trent river system, it has a 4MW installed capacity and is owned by OPG.

3. Healey falls Generating Station - Built in 1913, also in Campbellford on the Trent river system, it has an 18MW installed capacity and is owned by OPG.

4. Meyersburg Generating Station - Built in 1924, also in Cambellford on the Trent river system, it has a 5MW installed capacity and is owned by OPG.

5. Ranney Falls Generating Station - Built in 1922, also in Campbellford on the Trent river system, it has a 10MW installed capacity and is owned by OPG.

6. Seymour Generating Station - Built in 1909, also in Campbellford on the Trent river system, it has a 6MW installed capacity and is owned by OPG.



So this is a relatively small area with a LOT of small-scale Hydro-Electric. So it surprised me this morning to read that we are moving ahead with two additional installs on the Otonabee:

1. The Buckhorn Hydro install at Lock 31, which will be between 1.5 and 2.5MW

2. The Dam 24 Hydro install at Lock 24, which will be between 2.5 and 3.5MW


If we shoot for the middle numbers on the new installs that gives us a total local installed capacity of ~80MW, with most of these facilities dating back 100 years or so. We can also do some creative accounting based on the PUC numbers:

-40,000MWh is enough for 4,000 homes, so each home uses roughly 10MWh.
-If we average 1-3 we end up with 4,018MWh per MW of installed capacity

Based on the above, the combined output of 80MW would give us 321,440MWh, enough power to run 32,000 households. Ergo, this area still imports >50% of its power, despite all these dams.
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#4658263 - 02/06/18 05:31 PM Re: Otonabee and Trent - small-scale Hydro-Electric [Re: OVERKILL]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2604
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
I had no idea all those facilities existed!
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#4658281 - 02/06/18 05:51 PM Re: Otonabee and Trent - small-scale Hydro-Electric [Re: OVERKILL]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36441
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Wow, I did not do a proper proofread, LOL! oh well.
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#4658417 - 02/06/18 07:59 PM Re: Otonabee and Trent - small-scale Hydro-Electric [Re: OVERKILL]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I didn't know there were so many. It would be interesting to see the evolution of the grid over the years, and for how long this area was a net exporter of power? There is an old transmission line that runs across my land, from the Campbellford generating station straight to Peterborough so I assume this may have been an link between joining up separate grids in Campbellford and Peterborough.
If you are in the area in spring, Healey Falls is pretty impressive with the flood gates WO, you can feel the power in the ground with all that water rushing down.
They are doing a ton of work on the Campbellford station as well, I think to fully exploit all the water available for much of the year.
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#4658489 - 02/06/18 09:23 PM Re: Otonabee and Trent - small-scale Hydro-Electric [Re: IndyIan]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36441
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I didn't know there were so many. It would be interesting to see the evolution of the grid over the years, and for how long this area was a net exporter of power? There is an old transmission line that runs across my land, from the Campbellford generating station straight to Peterborough so I assume this may have been an link between joining up separate grids in Campbellford and Peterborough.
If you are in the area in spring, Healey Falls is pretty impressive with the flood gates WO, you can feel the power in the ground with all that water rushing down.
They are doing a ton of work on the Campbellford station as well, I think to fully exploit all the water available for much of the year.


Yes, they seem to do rolling upgrades of them as well. The London street expansion/upgrade is a good example, same with the former GE/Trent facility.

The PUC page has some information on who owned some of these early on, as does OPG. Most were built for a specific purpose, and then leveraged to power the surrounding area. Doesn't surprise me that with all the power around Campbellford, it would be trunked back to Peterborough. One of the operators was just "The Electric Company" or something similar, which I found amusing. Eventually the province absorbed most of them, or they were bought up by PUC, as you can see.

I find it interesting that OPG operates one of them inside PUC's territory, and PUC operates one inside OPG's.... shrug
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