Canada, Dam Safety, North America, Rehabilitation and Repair

Dam safety work at 92-MW Caribou Falls Generating Station to be complete this year

Ontario Power Generation’s 92-MW Caribou Falls Generating Station is undergoing a major overhaul to correct erosion at its Block Dam #2.

The Caribou Falls Generating Station, which sits in the far reaches of Ontario near the Manitoba border, has been producing clean, renewable hydroelectric power since 1958.

Caribou Falls’ Block Dam #2 forms the outlet of Umfreville Lake, the storage reservoir for the plant. The block dam, which blocks the water from travelling into other storage areas or old river systems, enables water to be diverted for power generation. The overhaul is needed to correct erosion, and the work is set to be completed this fall, OPG says.

In 2014, an irregular slump erosion occurred along the eastern section and upstream slope of the dam. The multi-year project to address this deterioration will ensure Block Dam #2 meets all dam safety standards and long-term performance requirements.

Current work involves constructing a new embankment structure that will replace the original block dam. The old block dam will be regraded and covered in riprap to mitigate erosion due to waves crashing into the shore.

“When it comes to the integrity and erosion of a dam, we have to act immediately and make it one of our highest priorities.” Kris Chartrand, project leader in OPG’s Northwest Operations. “It’s important to finish a project like this in a timely manner with a priority on safety.”