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Ontario is investing more than $600 million to refurbish the second-largest hydroelectric station in the province, securing enough clean electricity to power over one million homes in the future.

The Ontario Ministry of Energy announced it will support a plan to refurbish 16 units at the R.H. Saunders Generating Station in Cornwall.

The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) plan includes major rehabilitation of generating equipment through civil, electrical and mechanical improvements aimed at increasing electricity production while using less water.

“This work includes hoisting out and replacing the massive 62-ton turbine runner, which includes the steel blades that help convert rushing water into electricity,” said OPG in a statement. “The old runners will be replaced with newer, more efficient designs that will require less water to generate clean power.”

Once completed, the station is expected to produce up to 160 gigawatt hours of additional clean electricity each year, sufficient to power over 19,000 homes.

“The R.H. Saunders Generating Station — the second-largest hydro facility in the province — has been providing Ontario with clean electricity since 1958, and with today’s investment, we’re extending the life of the station for decades more to help Ontario meet its growing electricity needs,” said Minister of Energy Todd Smith in a statement.

According to the energy ministry, this investment in Ontario’s hydroelectric fleet is part of the government’s plan, “Powering Ontario’s Growth,” aimed at meeting energy demand and reducing emissions by expanding the province's reliable, affordable and clean grid.

OPG said the refurbishment project at the station will span the next 16 years, creating over 200 highly skilled and well-paid jobs in Cornwall.

“The City of Cornwall welcomes the province’s investment in the R.H. Saunders Generating Station. This refurbishment project will ensure that the facility is able to continue to provide clean energy for decades to come, while also creating hundreds of skilled jobs in our community,” said Mayor Justin Towndale.

Ontario is investing more than $600 million to refurbish the second-largest hydroelectric station in the province, securing enough clean electricity to power over one million homes. #RHSaundersGeneratingStation #hydroelectric #CleanElectricity

Since 1958, the R.H. Saunders Generating Station has provided electricity for over 800,000 homes annually, meeting up to five per cent of Ontario’s power needs in recent years, OPG added.

Last month, the province also announced a $1-billion investment to extend the lifespan of its major hydro dams. The plan includes refurbishing up to 25 units at the Sir Adam Beck generating stations, aiming to secure clean electricity for about 1.7 million homes for another 30 years.

The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator forecasts that the province's energy transformation is gaining momentum, with steady demand projected to increase by an average of two per cent annually over the coming decades, amounting to a 59 per cent approximate increase by 2050. This growth is driven by economic expansion, population growth and the electrification of industries, such as mining and steel, as well as the increasing adoption of electric vehicles.

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Gosh! Wasn't it but a few scant years ago that DoFo scrapped the; Cap and Trade plan, contract for a massive wind farm project (I think??), and ripped out newly installed EV charging facilities?