DRAINAGE BASIN: Lake Erie
NEAREST POPULATION CENTRE: Niagara-on-the-lake
IN SERVICE DATE:
Unit 1-2, 4 - 1922
Unit 5 - 1923
Unit 3, 6-7 - 1924
Unit 8-9 - 1925
Unit 10 - 1930 (1924)
BUILT BY: Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario
ASSET TRANSFERRED TO ONTARIO POWER GENERATION: April 1, 1999
NUMBER OF UNITS: 10
CAPACITY: 450 MW
The Sir Adam Beck I Generating Station (GS) has provided clean, renewable electricity to Ontario for nearly 100 years. When it was opened by Sir Adam Beck on Dec. 28, 1921, the Queenston-Chippawa Development (as it was known between 1922 and 1950) was the largest hydroelectric power station in the world. At the peak of construction more than 10,000 people worked on the project.
The station is strategically located at Queenston, where the drop between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario is approximately 100 metres. In comparison, the Ontario Power, Toronto Power, and Rankine generating stations, built at the turn of the 20th century, were located at the crest of Niagara Falls, where the drop was approximately 50 metres. Locating the station at Queenston enables it to produce approximately 80 per cent more power than if it was located near the mighty Niagara Falls.
To channel water to the station, a 20 kilometre canal was carved through the City of Niagara Falls and connected to the upper Welland River. As a result, water is pulled from the upper Niagara River into the Welland River, reversing its flow some 7.2 kilometres to the power canal.
In 1950, the station was renamed Sir Adam Beck GS to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Beck’s passing. By 1990, the station was designated a National Historic Site.