PLANT GROUP: Northwest Plant Group
DRAINAGE BASIN: Lake Superior
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Nipigon (16.9 km (10.5 miles) south)
IN SERVICE DATE:
UNIT 1 - March 13, 1921
UNIT 2 - Dec. 20, 1920
UNIT 3 - July 1924
UNIT 4 - September 1924
UNIT 5 - 1925
UNIT 6 - April 8, 1926
UNIT 7 - Sept. 9, 1958
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
ASSET TRANSFERRED TO ONTARIO POWER GENERATION: April 1, 1999
NUMBER OF UNITS: 7
CAPACITY: 92 MW
The City of Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) was served at that time with electrical energy by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, under an agreement with the Kaministiquia Power Company, bearing a date of Sept. 9, 1909 which expired in December 1920. The agreement provided for a supply of power up to 10,000 hp. Requirements in excess of this amount would necessitate additional development.
The construction of new terminal grain elevators, the demands for power for pulp and paper industries, and the possibilities of the mineral resources of the district — as well as the rapidly increasing loads in both cities — were indicative of a demand far in excess of the available capacity.
The demand for the use of electrical energy in Northwestern Ontario had become such that additional generating capacity was found necessary. The Commission, at the urgent request of the municipalities in the area of Port Arthur and Fort William, undertook the construction of a large development on the Nipigon River at Cameron's Falls to meet the immediate power requirements and with plans arranged to permit extensions should the need arise.
During the period of preliminary investigation concerning the future power supply of this district, considerable attention was given to a development at Silver Falls, near Dog Lake, on the Kaministiquia River, located approximately 48 km (30 miles) west of Port Arthur.
Neither the Kaministiquia Power Company nor the scheme of development of Silver Falls at Dog Lake was capable of taking care of high load factor loads such as pulp and paper mills to the same extent as the various possible developments on the Nipigon River, due to greater variation of stream flow and much smaller drainage area. It was quite obvious that the Nipigon site should be adopted.
By-laws were submitted in Fort William and Port Arthur on Jan. 1, 1917, authorizing the execution of an agreement with the Commission covering delivery of power from the Nipigon Development, and were carried almost unanimously in both municipalities. Agreements were executed between the Commission and the Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William on May 17 and Oct. 10, 1917, respectively, and an Order-in-Council was passed accordingly, providing the necessary funds and authorizing the Commission to proceed with the construction work.
The colony was disbanded by 1973.