Portage Power brings 39 megawatts of clean, renewable power to Ontario

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Portage Power brings 39 megawatts of clean, renewable power to Ontario

Acquired by Hydro Ottawa in 2012 and 2016, two hydroelectric stations on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River at Chaudière Falls have resumed operations after going through extensive refurbishments, and are now generating 39 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable power for Ontario.

In 2018, Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. (under its subsidiary Portage Power) shut down its Hull 2 (Centrale Hull 2) and Gatineau Generating Station No. 1 (GS1) hydroelectric facilities in order to modernize the stations and perform structural work designed to protect the plants against future flooding on the Ottawa River.

Originally constructed in the early 20th Century, these facilities required refurbishments to extend their life expectancy and meet the obligations to sell electricity into the Ontario grid under new 40-year power purchase agreements with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The refurbishments include new turbines and generator upgrades, extensive upstream and downstream civil works, automation and other electrical and mechanical improvements.

To connect both projects to the Ontario grid, a new interconnection line was constructed across the Ring Dam and Chaudière Island, into downtown Ottawa.

Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. owns and operates three primary subsidiaries: Hydro Ottawa Limited, which distributes electricity across the nation’s capital; Portage Power, which generates 128 megawatts of clean renewable energy annually; and Envari Holding Inc., which offers large-scale sustainable energy solutions for businesses, governments and utilities.

Quick Facts

  • Portage Power is Ontario’s largest municipally-owned producer of green power.
  • The IESO is a Crown corporation responsible for operating the electricity market and directing the operation of the bulk electrical system in Ontario.
  • In total, Hydro Ottawa has 128 megawatts (MW) of installed green generation (enough to power 107,000 homes annually) that includes 16 run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities in Ontario, Quebec and New York State, eight large solar installations in partnership with the City of Ottawa, and majority shares in two landfill gas-to-energy plants. 
  • Hull 2 (Centrale Hull 2) was acquired from Hydro-Québec in 2016, while Gatineau Generating Station No. 1 (GS1) was purchased from Domtar in 2012.
  • Hydroelectric facilities have minimal impact on the environment because they don’t produce pollution or greenhouse gases. Instead they rely on the natural flow of their water source, and can generate power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long.