Ontario releases atlas of available waterpower sites

An Internet-based Waterpower Resource Atlas is available from the government of Ontario. The interactive mapping tool illustrates waterpower potential in the province and identifies promising sites for future development.

Atlas users can search for potential hydropower sites in several ways. For example, users can look for sites within parks or protected areas, on federal lands, or in the process of being developed. Users can zoom to a specific latitude/longitude or a named place.

A summary reports section allows users to generate reports of sites available in the entire province, in a tertiary watershed, or in a particular river or creek.

For example, for Abitibi River, the atlas identifies one site in a general use area (where a full range of resource and recreational uses is allowed), four with direct site releases, four in the Moose River Basin, and two in a park and protected area. The 11 sites have a total potential of 658 MW. The atlas also indicates existing hydroelectric capacity of about 644 MW at six plants on the river.

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources created the website, www.lio.ontario.ca/imf-ows/imf.jsp?site=waterpower_en. MNR supports new hydropower generation by providing opportunities to develop sites on government-owned land where no dams exist, and by using existing government-owned dams for generation of electricity. (HNN 12/10/08)

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