Work begins on Ontario’s 16-MW Yellow Falls hydropower plant

Construction has begun on the 16-MW Yellow Falls hydroelectric plant, majority owner Boralex Inc. said in a release.

The project — located on the Mattagami River about 18 kilometers south of Smooth Rock Falls — is expected to cost between US$71.5 million and $75.4 million to complete. Boralex said it expects the plant to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2017.

“Following analysis and development of the Yellow River hydroelectric project for which the rights had been acquired previously, Boralex finally started to work on its first hydroelectric power station in Ontario,” company president and CEO Patrick Lemaire said.

The intake and powerhouse will be combined in a close-coupled arrangement near the west back of the river, with two 8 MW turbine-generator units housed in the plant. A spillway with three vertical-lift, fixed-roller gates and one set of stop logs will be build adjacent to the powerhouse. The powerhouse will be flanked by two sections of dam — each about 15 meters high. most recently reported on the plant in March 2009, when then-developer Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. announced it had begun pursuing approvals for the plant.

Boralex, which now owns 75% of the project, said it has an initial 20-year power sales contract with the Ontario Power Authority with four five-year renewal options.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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