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Ranney Falls GS expansion nears the finish line

The Ranney Falls Generating Station (GS) expansion project, which will double the station’s output, continues tracking on time and on budget.

OPG’s latest hydro rebuild involves replacing the station’s G3 unit – a worn out 0.8 megawatt (MW) unit from 1926 affectionately known as “The Pup” – to improve the available hydroelectric potential at site. The unit is housed in a new powerhouse and the total station capacity will double from 10 to 20 MW, enough electricity to supply up to 10,000 homes with clean, renewable power.

A view of OPG's Ranney Falls Generating Station
The expansion project at Ranney Falls Generating Station is close to being complete.

The new G3 unit is now more than 90 per cent complete, with the generating unit safely installed in the new powerhouse and spillway gate recently put into service. Installation of the new unit – an efficient ECOBulb hydroelectric turbine runner – is currently underway.

The project is expected to be in service by the end of the year.

The new powerhouse sits adjacent to the existing main powerhouse building, which houses the two original 4.8 MW units that were commissioned in 1922 and are still going strong. It features the same rose-coloured stone exterior as the existing 1922-era powerhouse. Meanwhile, the old building that housed the original “Pup” unit remains standing as an homage to its historic role in the community.

“We want to maintain the heritage of these buildings and the aesthetic feel of the community, and this approach allows us to preserve the past while building our future,” said Iskander Boulos, OPG Ranney Falls G3 project manager.

The station is nestled along the Trent River just south of Campbellford – a quiet town whose history has been fuelled by water as an important source of power, transportation and tourism since the early 20th century.

Project construction began in March 2017 and special care was put into managing the environment around the site, including a seniors’ residence just metres away and habitat for endangered northern map turtles.

As part of the project, OPG is also collaborating with Trent-Severn Waterway and the Municipality of Trent Hills to create a pollinator garden adjacent to the Trent Canal. The garden will help attract wild bees and butterflies in an area that OPG will revegetate after the expansion project is complete. Pollinator gardens and meadows provide nectar-producing native plants essential for the life cycle of insects, birds, and mammals. They also provide refuge for non-pollinating species such as reptiles and amphibians.