Ontario Refurbishing Hydroelectric Station in Cornwall

May 21, 2024

The Ontario government is supporting Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plan to refurbish its R.H. Saunders Generating Station in Cornwall, the second largest hydroelectric station in Ontario. This infrastructure program would invest more than $600 million to secure 1,045 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity, equivalent to powering over one million homes, helping to meet increasing demand from electrification and fueling the province’s growth.

“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 Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “This refurbishment program – part of our Powering Ontario’s Growth plan – will create jobs and ensure we have the power we need for the next major international investment, the new homes we are building and industries as they grow and electrify.”

OPG will refurbish 16 units in total at the R.H. Saunders Generating Station. The refurbishment will include major rehabilitation of generating equipment through civil, electrical, and mechanical improvements that will see the station produce more electricity from less water. Once completed, the station is expected to produce up to 160 gigawatt hours of additional clean electricity each year, equivalent to powering over 19,000 homes.

The work at the R.H. Saunders Generating Station will take place over the next 16 years, creating more than 200 highly skilled and well-paid jobs in Cornwall.

“Since it first went into service in 1958, OPG’s R.H. Saunders station has played an important role in Ontario’s history. From powering a growing economy to managing flows in the St. Lawrence Seaway for shipping, this hydro stalwart has been invaluable to our province.” said Paul Seguin, Senior Vice President, Renewable Generation, OPG. “Once refurbished, it will electrify the lives of Ontarians for years to come.”

This investment in Ontario’s hydroelectric fleet is just one part of Powering Ontario’s Growth, the government’s pragmatic plan which outlines the actions the province is taking to meet growing energy demand and reduce emissions by expanding Ontario’s reliable, affordable and clean grid, including:

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s grid is one of the cleanest in the world with a diverse supply mix made up of nuclear, hydroelectric, natural gas, wind, solar and bioenergy.
  • The R.H. Saunders Generating Station has been a reliable source of clean power for 65 years. The station currently meets about five per cent of Ontario’s power needs.
  • The R.H. Saunders Generating Station is located on the St. Lawrence River as part of the larger Moses-Saunders Power Dam shared with the United States.


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