Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is undertaking extensive rehabilitation work to modernize the dam at the 75-MW Grand Falls-Windsor hydroelectric plant, with work beginning this month.
The rehab is expected to take three years and involves reinforcing the existing concrete structure and installing a new inflatable spillway over the dam’s crest. This work will stabilize the dam, allow greater control for spilling, better assist fish passage and make ongoing maintenance activities much safer, the utility says. Fish species of concern on the river are Atlantic salmon.
The main purpose of the dam, on the Exploits River, is to divert water to the power canal. The dam currently uses timber flashboards to increase reservoir elevation for additional generation and fish passage. The inflatable overflow spillway will be the first of its kind in the province and replace the flashboards.
During the work, the hydro plant will continue to function as per its current operating and water management practices.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, a Nalcor Energy company, has installed generating capacity of 1,792 MW and owns nine hydroelectric generating stations that provide more than 80% of the electricity generated.