ALMONTE, ONT. — Enerdu Power Systems Ltd. hosted a grand opening of the redeveloped Enerdu Generating Station in Almonte, in Mississippi Mills, eastern Ontario, on April 27.
The project saw Enerdu Power Systems Ltd. construct a new powerhouse to accommodate larger turbines and to increase the plant’s generating capacity by 70 per cent, to one megawatt, said a media statement. The project site is located on the Mississippi River at 11 Main St. in Almonte.
The total budget for the project was over $10 million, with $4 million in civil works, $5 million in equipment and $1 million in electrical and controls. All civil work was awarded to local companies, including Thomas Cavanagh Construction, and $4.5 million of the equipment and electrical budget was sourced locally, the Enerdu website indicted.
The project had a significant heritage component. The new generating station was built next to the existing station and efforts were made to minimize impacts on the adjacent Almonte Flour Mill and other heritage properties.
The building that houses the existing powerhouse was built in 1842 as the Wylie Flour Mill. The powerhouse function has been in existence since at least 1905, the environmental assessment report noted.
Cultural heritage consulting firm Contentworks Inc. was retained by BluMetric Environmental Inc. to undertake the Heritage Impact Assessment. Canadian Hydro Components Ltd. provided water-to-wire equipment, the statement noted. The generators were custom designed to connect directly to the turbine shaft using the pit wall as the generator shell. The direct connect feature eliminated the need for gearbox connection and provides better efficiency while decreasing costs, the statement explained.
The station will provide electricity to approximately 150 homes and businesses in Almonte.
Community members staged a protest before the build began in 2016 over the possible effects of the project on the rapids clubtail dragonfly.
New inflatable weirs were designed to enable the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authorities to react to flood threats. The weirs can be adjusted to either hold back or release additional water as directed by the conservation authority. In addition, the old powerhouse will be used as an additional bypass to give greater flood control capability, noted the Enerdu website.
Another feature of the project was an eel migration bypass, designed in consultation with Algonquin First Nations members.
“Enerdu Power Systems Ltd. is to be commended for the completion of this project,” said Paul Norris, president of the Ontario Waterpower Association. “This is a great example of the opportunities that exist across the province to expand the contribution of waterpower to provide economic, environmental and reliable energy benefits for present and future generations.”
Congratulations… the finished product is stunning!