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Muskoka Celebrates Waterpower Facility Upgrades

Friday, May 3rd 2013 11:04:15am

Official Re-Opening of the Wilson’s Falls and Bracebridge Falls Generating Stations


(May 3, 2013, Peterborough, ON) The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) congratulates Bracebridge Generation Ltd. on the completion of the upgrades to the Wilson’s Falls Generating Station and the Bracebridge Falls Generating Station. Today in Bracebridge Ontario, the OWA, community supporters and industry partners joined Bracebridge Generation Ltd. in celebrating the re-opening of both facilities. These upgraded sites will supply renewable, reliable and affordable energy to the province, for decades to come.

Bracebridge Falls Generating Station, originally constructed in 1901, was upgraded from 600 kilowatts to 2600 kilowatts at a cost of $11M. Wilson's Falls Generating Station, originally constructed in 1910, was upgraded from 600 kilowatts to 2900 kilowatts at a cost of $10M. Both plants together are capable of generating enough power to supply electricity to 4800 homes.



The upgrades took a year to complete and contributed $5M to the local economy through labour and material costs during construction. Additionally, the manufacturing of the two new generators, civil construction and all engineering were completed by Ontario firms.

Bracebridge Generation is a subsidiary of Lakeland Holding that is owned by the municipalities of Bracebridge, Huntsville, Burk’s Falls Sundridge, and Magnetawan. The re-opening of the two facilities will be Ontario’s first two Hydroelectric Contract Initiatives (HCI) to come to fruition. As part of the province's commitment to increase Ontario's supply of clean, renewable generation, upgrades and re-developments of existing hydroelectric generation facilities in Ontario is a key priority.

“We would not have been able to complete these upgrades without HCI contracts, which provided us with investment certainty. The OWA deserves a lot of credit for representing the needs of its members who will be able to generate and grow under a variety of long term contracts,” said Chris Litschko, President and CEO of Bracebridge Generation Ltd.

Both upgrades improved not only generation capacity but also the aesthetics of the waterfalls. Bracebridge Generation worked closely with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to increase the walleye spawning area by 600% at the bottom of Bracebridge Falls. Additionally, viewing platforms have also been constructed for the public.

“Waterpower is the electricity source upon which the original prosperity of this province was built,” added Paul Norris, President of Ontario Waterpower Association. “These developments are a great example of the opportunities that exist across the province to expand the contribution of waterpower to provide economic, environmental and energy benefits for present and future generations.”

There are more than 120 waterpower facilities across southern Ontario and over 200 in the province. Ontario has much more untapped waterpower potential that can help ensure a secure supply of electricity for the future. Realizing these opportunities means a continued commitment to environmentally responsible sustainable development.

The Ontario Waterpower Association’s annual Power of Water Canada (POWC) Conference and Tradeshow has opportunities for learning more about waterpower. This year the event will be held from October 20 to 22 at the beautiful White Oaks Conference Resort located in Niagara, Ontario. The POWC Conference is the largest waterpower-focused event in the country and attracts over four hundred (400) delegates from across North America.

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This event was held at the Bracebridge Falls Generating Station and continued to the Wilson Generating Station. For more information on Bracebridge Generation, visit: http://www.bracebridgegeneration.com.

For more information on the Ontario Waterpower Association, visit: www.owa.ca.

To schedule interviews, or to obtain pictures from the event or generating stations, contact:

Stephanie Landers, Communications and Public Outreach Coordinator
Ontario Waterpower Association
866-743-1500 ext. 25
slanders@owa.ca