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Otter Rapids Generating Station

Otter Rapids Generating Station

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Otter Rapids Generating Station

PLANT GROUP: Northeast Operations
DRAINAGE BASIN: Hudson/James Bay
RIVER: Abitibi
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Kapuskasing (96 km southwest)
IN SERVICE DATE:
UNIT 1 - Sept. 26, 1961
UNIT 2 - Oct. 24, 1961
UNIT 3 - July 30, 1963
UNIT 4 - Oct. 1, 1963
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
ASSET TRANSFERRED TO ONTARIO POWER GENERATION: April 1, 1999
NUMBER OF UNITS: 4
CAPACITY:  182 MW

Otter Rapids Generating Station (GS) is located on the Abitibi River, midway between Cochrane and Moosonee, and has been providing clean, renewable power to Ontario since 1961. The station is operated by a skilled team at our Northeast Operations’ control room in Timmins. Most of the maintenance on the station is done by technicians located at our work centre in Kapuskasing. The station’s four generating units provide enough energy each year to power about 60,000 homes. 

As with all of our hydroelectric stations, Otter Rapids’s operations consider the needs of the environment and other users of the waterways. Water levels and flows are managed by technicians within approved water management plans. The amount of water available for generation depends on environmental needs, minimum and maximum water level requirements, and precipitation.

The Otter Rapids power dam spans the Abitibi River and crosses a small island that divides the river into two channels. OPG continues to invest in the station, upgrading equipment to ensure it continues to provide reliable power 24/7, 365 days a year. Otter Rapids GS is part of OPG’s generation portfolio that is more than 99 per cent free of greenhouse gas and smog-causing emissions.

Construction

As with many of the hydroelectric stations in northern Ontario, construction meant establishing a ‘hydro colony’ where workers and their families could both live and work in remote locations.

Work on the Otter Rapids site began in the spring of 1958. A network of access roads spanning 9.6 km was built, and aggregate production and concrete mixing plants were set up along with a work camp.

Nearly 1,000 people lived in this remote camp, which was accessible primarily by rail. The camp included a bank, post office, snack bar, grocery store, billiard hall, bowling alley, curling rink, hockey rink, fire hall and auditorium. Workers lived in the camp with their families and their children attended a four-room school.