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Hydro Generation

Hydroelectric Video Screen Capture

Power your knowledge: Watch and learn about hydroelectric generation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Being our province’s primary power generator, we supply the majority of the electricity that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians use every day.

Our generating assets include nine hydroelectric plants, one oil-fired plant, four gas turbines, and 25 diesel plants. We have also entered into a number of power purchase agreements with non-utility generators to supplement our own generating capacity.

Hydro generation is responsible for maintaining all hydroelectric generation plants on the island:

Bay d’Espoir Hydroelectric Generating Facility (604 MW)

2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the Bay d’Espoir Facility. Service began in 1967.  Click here to learn more about the history of this plant. The headwaters of the Bay d’Espoir system begin at Victoria Lake at an approximate elevation of 320 meters. Through a man-made array of dams and canals, this water is directed to generating plants at Granite Canal, Upper Salmon and, finally, 150 km from Victoria Lake to its final tidewater destination at Bay d’Espoir. Water is collected, stored and diverted from a number of drainage areas between Victoria Lake and Long Pond, the forebay for the two Bay d’Espoir generating stations. The seven generating units at Bay d’Espoir utilize approximately 176 m of head to produce a rated output of 604 MW with a rated flow of 397 m3/s. The plant produces an average of 2,650 GWh annually, making it the largest hydroelectric plant on the Island.

Cat Arm Hydroelectric Generating Station (127 MW)

The Cat Arm Generating Station is located on the Northern Peninsula and makes use of 380.5 m of head between the reservoir and White Bay. Each of the two units operates with a rated flow of 20 m3/s to generate a total 127 MW of electrical power with an average annual production of 680 GWh. The two 63.5 MW units, equipped with Pelton turbines, were first synchronized in 1985.

Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Generating Station (84 MW)

The Upper Salmon Development utilizes a portion of the residual head between Meelpaeg Lake Reservoir and Round Pond within the watershed of the Bay d’Espoir Hydroelectric development. The plant operates at a normal supply level of 241 m under a net head of 51 metres. The rated flow of 189.5 m3/s is used to generate 84 MW of electrical power with an average annual production of 570 GWh. The unit, which is equipped with a Francis turbine, was first synchronized in 1983.

Hinds Lake Hydroelectric Generating Station (75 MW)

The Hinds Lake Development is located on the eastern shore of Grand Lake and makes use of 220 m of head between Hinds Lake on the Buchan’s plateau and Grand Lake. The Plant operates under an average net head of 214 m. The rated flow 40 m3/s generates 75 MW of electrical power with an average annual production of 340 GWh. The unit, which is equipped with a Francis turbine, was first synchronized in 1980.

Granite Canal Hydroelectric Generating Station (41 MW)

The Granite Canal Hydroelectric Generating Station is located within Hydro’s Bay d’Espoir system. The generating station has a rated capacity of 40 MW with an annual average energy production of 220 GWh. The generating unit at Granite Canal utilizes approximately 37 m of head with a rated plant flow of 122.4 m3 per second. The unit is equipped with a Kaplan turbine and was first synchronized in 2003. As part of Hydro’s commitment to the environment, a 45,000 m2 fish habitat compensation facility was included in this development to ensure any aquatic habit loss was avoided, reduced or replaced. A Fish Habitat Compensation Agreement was signed with the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to ensure proper construction, utilization and long-term viability of the facility.

Paradise River Hydroelectric Generating Station (8 MW)

This hydroelectric generating plant is located near the mouth of Paradise River on the Burin Peninsula. It operates with a rated flow of 25 m3/s to generate 8 MW of electrical power with an average annual production of 36 GWh. The unit, which is equipped with a Francis runner, was first synchronized in 1989. The project, which operates under a run-of-river philosophy, has a 43 m high concrete arch dam with an overflow spillway, the largest structure of this design in Eastern Canada.

Snooks Arm and Venams Bight (1 MW)

Constructed in 1955 by Maritime Mining Corporation to provide electricity for Tilt Cove Mines, these are the oldest units in the Hydro Generation System. Located on the Baie Verte Peninsula, these two plants can produce a total of 1 MW. Both are single unit plants using horizontal shaft Francis turbine generator units and were originally constructed with above ground wood stave penstocks. By 2006, The Snooks Arm plant wood stave penstock had deteriorated and was replaced by an above ground steel penstock.

Roddickton Hydro Plant (0.4 MW)

The Roddickton Hydro Plant, first synchronized in 1980, is located near the Town of Roddickton on the Northern Peninsula of the Island of Newfoundland. The single unit plant is located on Marble Brook and is supplied with water through a buried polyethelene penstock. The turbine is a horizontal shaft, two cell cross flow machine operating under a net head of 42 m, with design flow of 1.3 cubic meters per second and produces 400 kW.