“Niagara tunnel” 100 years for Canada!

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New Niagara hydro tunnel finally opens

A 10.2 kilometre tunnel at Niagara Falls opened Thursday, channelling more water through the electricity generating station

New Niagara hydro tunnel finally opens


Ontario Power Generation workers, repair a transformer in Turbine hall at the Sir Adam Beck generation station, Thursday March 21, 2013. Ontario’s 10.2 km long Niagara Tunnel is now in service, capable of providing an additional 500 cubic metres per second of water to the Sir Adam Beck generating complex. TARA WALTON/ TORONTO STAR

By: John Spears Business reporter, Published on Thu Mar 21 2013

A new hydro tunnel at Niagara Falls officially gushed water today, cranking up electricity production at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station.

The 10.2 kilometre tunnel, which is 14.4 metres in diameter, was formally feted by energy minister Bob Chiarelli and Tom Mitchell, chief executive of Ontario Power Generation.

It will carry an additional 500 cubic metres of water per second from the tunnel mouth, just above the falls, to the generators in Queenston, Ont..

That will produce enough extra power to light up a city the size of Barrie.

“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,” Chiarelli said.

“The completion of this project will provide Ontario with a source of clean energy for the next 100 years.”

It came at a cost, however.

The project was budgeted for $985 million, but the final bill came in at $1.6 billion — costs that will ultimately be borne by electricity ratepayers.

The project went over time and over budget when tunneling crews hit a stretch of loose, crumbing rock that forced them to detour from the planned route.

New Niagara hydro tunnel finally opens