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Otto Holden Generating Station

Otto Holden Generating Station

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A hydroelectric station on a river.

Otto Holden Generating Station

DRAINAGE BASIN: Ottawa River
RIVER: Ottawa
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Mattawa (approximately 10 km southeast)
IN SERVICE DATE:
UNIT 1-7 - 1952
UNIT 8 - 1953
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
ASSET TRANSFERRED TO ONTARIO POWER GENERATION: April 1, 1999
NUMBER OF UNITS: 8
CAPACITY:  243 MW

Otto Holden Generating Station (GS), located outside of the Town of Mattawa, is the first of four OPG hydroelectric stations on the Ottawa River. Water flowing through this station generates enough clean, renewable electricity for about 250,000 homes. The water then continues down the Ottawa River to Des Joachims GS, Chenaux GS and Chats Falls GS. In total these four stations produce enough power for one million homes.

Construction of the station began in 1949 and employed 1,500 people at peak. The dam was constructed using 300,000 cubic meters of concrete, enough to fill more than 120 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Originally called La Cave GS, the station was later renamed to honour Dr. Otto Holden, an engineer who designed all the OPG hydroelectric stations on the Ottawa River. Dr. Holden also played a key role in the construction of the R.H. Saunders GS on the St. Lawrence River. At his retirement following 47 years of building hydroelectric dams, Dr. Holden remarked, “No engineering work is the product of one man’s hand or brain, but it’s good to know you contributed your talents – to look back on a difficult job and see how it helped a province develop.”

As with the operations at all of our generating stations, OPG is considerate of the environment and other users of the waterways. Our technicians manage water levels and flows according to approved water management plans. The amount of water available for generation depends on environmental needs, minimum and maximum water level requirements, and precipitation.

Otto Holden GS generates clean, renewable electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is part of OPG’s clean energy portfolio which is more than 99 per cent free of greenhouse gas and smog emissions.