The Niagra Tunnel will annually produce more power, on average, than cities the size of Niagara Falls or Kingston use every year and is one of the best value renewable energy initiatives in Ontario, says Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The firm and its contractor STRABAG agreed to a revised schedule in early 2009 due to difficult rock conditions, and have stayed true to both the schedule and budget.
In fact, the hydro power project cost will be $100mn lower than the revised $1.6 bn cost, and the in-service date is nine months sooner than projected in 2009.
“Congratulations to our contractor STRABAG and the hundreds of men and women who worked with extremely difficult rock conditions to safely complete this engineering marvel,” said Tom Mitchell, OPG President and CEO. “This was a large, complex project that will serve Ontario for one hundred plus years.”
Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy said: “This project is a source of pride as an engineering feat and as a practical solution for meeting Ontario's energy needs through clean sources.”
The tunnel is 12.7m in diameter, 10.2 km long, and lined with enough concrete to build a sidewalk from Windsor and Quebec City. It is capable of providing an additional 500 cubic m/s of water to the Sir Adam Beck generating complex – enough to fill a large Olympic-sized swimming pool in a matter of a few seconds. Some 580 workers were employed at peak construction