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Ontario government giving Cornwall generating station $600M for refurbishment

The Ontario government will announce a major financial boost to a refurbishment project in Cornwall today.

The government says it will be supporting Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) plan to refurbish the R. H. Saunders Generating Station on the St. Lawrence River. The government will be giving $600 million to the project, which would improve 16 units at the station, allowing it to produce more electricity from less water.

A news conference will be held in Cornwall at 10:30 a.m. to provide more details about the project.

The project, which OPG says began in January 2023, is expected to be completed by 2039.

“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,” said Energy Minister Todd Smith in a news release.

The R.H. Saunders Generating Station, built in 1958, is the second-largest hydro facility in the province. It is part of the larger Moses-Saunders Power Dam shared with the United States. It was last overhauled in the late 1990s and early 2000s, OPG says.

The refurbishment will include major rehabilitation of generating equipment through civil, electrical, and mechanical improvement, the government says. Once completed, the station is expected to produce up to 160 gigawatt hours of additional clean electricity each year, equivalent to powering more than 19,000 homes.

“The City of Cornwall welcomes the province’s investment in the R.H. Saunders Generating Station,” said Mayor Justin Towndale. “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.” 

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