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Sir Adam Beck II Generating Station

Sir Adam Beck II Generating Station

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Sir Adam Beck II Generating Station


RIVER: Niagara

Sir Adam Beck II Generating Station (GS), OPG’s largest capacity hydroelectric station, has safely produced clean, renewable and low-cost electricity for more than 60 years. The station’s 16 units generate 1,499 MW of electricity. That’s enough energy to power about 140,000 homes each year. Along with Sir Adam Beck I GS and the Beck Pump Generating Station, the three stations have a combined capacity of 2,119 MW.

Construction of the station began in January 1951 and involved building a new powerhouse at Queenston, two intake structures in the Niagara River above the falls, and two 9 km tunnels to convey the water from above Niagara Falls to the station. Like Beck I, the station makes use of the 89 metre drop at Queenston that enables it to produce about 80 per cent more power than it would if located at the crest of the falls, where the drop is only about 50 metres.

Opening ceremony of the Beck II station presided over by the Duchess of Kent.
Opening ceremony for Sir Adam Beck II GS

The Beck II station was opened on Aug. 30, 1954 by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent; Ontario Hydro Chairman Robert H. Saunders, and Ontario Premier Leslie M. Frost.

Development of the Sir Adam Beck II station was made possible by the Niagara Diversion Treaty of 1950 between Canada and the United States. This treaty safeguards the scenic beauty of the Falls by establishing minimum levels of water flow over the Falls during certain times of day and the year, such as during tourist season. The treaty also sets out conditions for sharing the remaining water between Canada and the United States for power generation.

Over the years, upgrades to the turbines at Sir Adam Beck I have increased the capacity of the station. When three older generating stations located at the crest of Niagara Falls were decommissioned, more water became available to Canada for power generation. However, the existing tunnels and canal lacked the capacity to convey this extra water to the Beck stations and so a new 10.2 km tunnel was constructed and declared in service in 2013.

Sir Adam Beck I 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 smog and carbon emissions.