Hydro Power Niagara Falls
The Niagara River is one of the world's greatest sources of hydroelectric power. The beauty of its wild descent from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario attracts millions of visitors each year. During its short course (56 km), the river drops 99 metres, with much of the spectacular plunge concentrated in a 13 km stretch of waterfalls and rapids.
Guided tours will give you a glimpse into the history of the region's power development and will reveal the unique ways the natural splendour of Niagara and hydroelectric generation have existed in harmony. Tour guides will take you to the largest hydroelectric power development in Niagara – the Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations 1 and 2 located in Queenston.
The History of Power Plants
Water was first diverted from the Canadian side of the Niagara River for generating electricity in 1893. A small 2,200 kilowatt plant was built just above the Horseshoe Falls to power an electric railway between the communities of Queenston and Chippawa.
Today the churning river provides the driving force for almost 2 million kilowatts of electricity from a number of power plants on the Canadian side. The three largest are Sir Adam Beck Niagara Generating Station Nos. 1 and 2 and the nearby pumping-generating station.
On the American side of the border, down river from the Falls, the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant, together generate more than 2.4 million kilowatts of electricity, enough to power 24 million 100-watt light bulbs. Since 1958, Sir Adam Beck Generating Station No.2 has been Ontario Power Generation's largest and one of its most reliable hydroelectric facilities.
Adam Beck Power Station 1
The Adam Beck Generating Station 1 was Built in 1917. It started producing power in 1922 and contains 10 generators. The station was originally known as the 'Queenston-Chippawa Hydro-Electric Development'. In 1990, the Adam Beck power station 1, was designated as a historic site of Canada.
Adam Beck Power Station 2
Sir Adam Beck Generating Station 2 was built In 1950 and it is the largest hydroelectric power station on the Niagara River and in the Niagara Region. The Adam Beck 2 started producing power in 1954 and contains 16 generators.
Robert Moses Hydro Electric Plant
The Robert Moses Hydro Electric Plant is located in Niagara County of Western New York State between Niagara Falls, New York and Lewiston, New York. (4.5 miles downstream from Niagara Falls). This facility is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The Robert Moses Plant was refurbished in 2006.
Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant, with a combined 25 turbines generates up to 2.6 million kilowatts of energy.
The Lewiston pump-generating plant will be undergoing a $460 million modernization from 2012 to 2020, which will increase the efficiency and service life of the plant.
Niagara Power Visitors Center
The Niagara Power Visitors Center, located four miles downstream of Niagara Falls, features interactive exhibits about hydroelectricity and its history in the Niagara Frontier.