Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations

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For other hydroelectric generating plants at Niagara Falls, see Niagara Falls hydroelectric generating plants.
Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations
Adam Beck Complex.jpg
The Adam Beck stations as seen from the air; the northern dam (nearest) is Adam Beck I and the southern is Adam Beck II.
Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations is located in Ontario
Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations
Location of Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations
Country Canada
Location Niagara Falls, Ontario
Coordinates 43°08′51″N 79°02′41″W / 43.14750°N 79.04472°W / 43.14750; -79.04472Coordinates: 43°08′51″N 79°02′41″W / 43.14750°N 79.04472°W / 43.14750; -79.04472
Commission date Adam Beck I 1922, Adam Beck II 1954
Power generation
Units operational 26 (Adam Beck I 10, Adam Beck II 16)
Nameplate capacity

1,997 MW

Official name: Queenston-Chippawa Hydro-Electric Development National Historic Site of Canada
Designated: 1990

Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations are two hydroelectric generating stations in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The stations divert water from the Niagara and Welland Rivers above Niagara Falls which is then released into the lower portion of the Niagara River, and together produce up to 1,997 MW.

Adam Beck I[edit]

Adam Beck I contains 10 generators and first produced power in 1922. It was originally called the Queenston-Chippawa Hydroelectric Plant and was renamed after Adam Beck in 1950 on the twenty fifth anniversary of his death. The water is diverted through the Chippawa-Queenston Power Canal from the Welland River.

As the first large-scale hydroelectric generation project in the world, Adam Beck I was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.[1]

Adam Beck II[edit]

The Chippawa-Queenston Power Canal was the first of three sources to provide water to the Generating Stations

Adam Beck II contains 16 generators and first produced power in 1954. The water was first diverted from the Niagara River by two five-mile tunnels under the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, that start above the falls.[2] A reservoir was created that permits the holding of water, diverted during the night, for use during the day.

Between 2006 and 2013, Adam Beck II underwent major civil engineering projects with the addition of a major underground water supply tunnel built by the Niagara Tunnel Project in order to improve its generation output. Water delivered by the major new tunnel complemented other upgrades to the Sir Adam Beck generating complex, resulting in a significant increase to the efficient use of the Niagara River's hydro power.

The project's new 12.7-metre (42 ft) diameter, 10.2-kilometre (6.3 mi) long tunnel was officially placed into service on 21 March 2013, helping to increase the generating complex's nameplate capacity by 150 megawatts, able to provide the power for about 160,000 homes.[3]

The major 1965 Northeast Blackout of Ontario and several U.S. states occurred on November 9, after maintenance personnel incorrectly set a protective relay on one of the transmission lines from the Sir Adam Beck Station No. II. The faulty relay later tripped open causing a major blackout created by a series of cascade failures which affected over 30 million people for up to 12 hours.

Water diversion[edit]

The open cut Chippawa-Queenston Power Canal diverts water from the Welland River to the stations. Upstream of the International Control Dam are two tunnel inlets which run under Niagara Falls, Ontario and surface 2 km (1.2 mi) upstream of the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations. The open cut canal and the tunnel canal cross at the "Cross Over" where there is a third channel feeding the 174 MW Pump Generating Station 43°08′40″N 79°03′36″W / 43.14444°N 79.06000°W / 43.14444; -79.06000 (Sir Adam Beck Pump Generating Station) which pumps water up into the man-made reservoir at night and generates electricity during the day, feeding the water back to the Sir Adam Beck Generating Complex.[4]

The International Control Dam, operated by Ontario Power Generation, controls the water diversions from the Niagara River and dispatches the water between the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation in accordance with the terms of the 1950 Niagara Treaty.

The Adam Beck dams are at the left, and the Robert Moses Station is on the right of the image.

This treaty, designed to ensure an "unbroken curtain of water" is flowing over the falls, states that during daylight time during the tourist season (April 1 to October 31) there must be 100,000 cubic feet per second (2,800 m3/s) of water flowing over the falls, and during the night and off-tourist season there must be 50,000 cubic feet per second (1,400 m3/s) of water flowing over the falls. This Treaty is monitored by the International Niagara Control Board.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Queenston-Chippawa Hydro-electric Plant. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Niagara Power Goes Under Ground" Popular Mechanics, April 1952, p. 115.
  3. ^ Niagara Tunnel Project Technical Facts, NiagaraFrontier.com website, updated November 2012.
  4. ^ "Sir Adam Beck Pump Generating Station". Ontario Power. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 

External links[edit]