Operations Updates

 December 2017

 

Dividends

At the December 5, 2017 Mississippi Mills Council Meeting, MRPC President Paul Virgin presented Mayor Shaun McLaughlin with a $225,000 dividend cheque for 2017. Over the past five years, MRPC has given the Municipality over $1.2M in dividends, rent for 28 Mill Street and Interest on the Promissory Note. Additionally, over the past five years, MRPC has contributed well over $600,000 in improvements and maintenance costs to the Municipally-owned office building at 28 Mill Street and Metcalfe GeoHeritage Park.

 

Generation

Cold weather has generated significant frazil ice issues over the past week, resulting in reduced output. When ice is not present, the station is running at full capacity (total of 4600KW). High flows for nearly the entirety of 2017 has translated to an exceptional year for generation. Revenue for the year is now projected to be close to $3.9M. For comparison, generation revenue for 2016 was just over $1.9M and the average annual revenue is roughly $2.4M.

 

Millfall & Earthen Dam Projects

 MRPC made a presentation to Mississippi Mills Council on Decmeber 5th, seeking permission to proceed with the tendering of the general contract for these projects. Approval was granted at that meeting. Design drawings are presently being finalized. A public information centre is planned for early 2018 (date TBD).

The plans involve repairing the existing dams in the North Channel of the Mississippi River in Almonte. The earthen dam, which is leaking badly, will be dug out. A concrete wall will be poured in the middle and filled on both sides with compacted sand, gravel and rip-rap to provide proper sloping. The Millfall Dam, which is crubmling, will undergo significant repairs. Two new piers and a third stop-log bay will be added. The overflow weirs will be raised to eliminate the need for flashboards. The South side old intake will be removed, replaced with an overflow weir and a lookout for the public.

A 3D rendering of the repaired dams can be found HERE.

 

Old Generating Station Building

Repairs to the old station were completed this Fall, including a new roof, and a complete paint job on the exterior.

    

 

Penstocks

Early in 2018, we will be making preventive repairs in penstock #1, to avoid a future failure as was experienced in #2 in 2012. The repair will involve adding a significant number of anchors to the transition piece (where the penstock attaches to the old draft tube at the base of the old generating station).

 

 

GENERAL INFO

The old Almonte Generating Station was built by the Public Utilities Commission in 1925. In 1989-90, it was shut down for major rehabilitation. Not only was the intake widened and deepened, but in the end all of the old equipment was removed and replaced. The previous equipment and civil design generated 840 Kilowatts (enough for about 275 homes), while the new one was able to generate 2400 Kilowatts (enough for about 800 homes). The official re-opening of the plant took place on July 26, 1991.

Running the station were two axial, double regulated 1700mm Kaplan turbines turning at 250 RPM. They are connected through a Santasalo gearbox to two vertical Reliance Electric 1200 KW generators, turning at 900 RPM.

The Rehabilitation project was overseen by the Public Utilities Commission, made up of: J.L. Virgin, William G. Gomme, Lynden C. Somerton, Raymond Gorman and Mayors Dorothy Finner and Ron Pettem. Much of the work on the Rehabilitation project was done by the dedicated employees of Almonte Hydro (photo: from left to right - Ray Clement, Brian Gallagher (General Manager), Howie Barr, Dan Brady, Brian Stead).

The station operated on approximately 31 feet of head. Under normal, full operation, it passes 28.5 cubic metres of water per second. Over the final ten years of its' operation, the average yearly generation was been approximately 12.3 million KWh.

On November 29, 2000 MRPC’s generating station received its Environmental Choice Program License (EcoLogo), thereby classifying all power generated as green power.

On August 1, 2008, the station was shut down permanently in order to commence construction of the new station on the Lower Falls.

 

 

 

The new station, named the Brian J. Gallagher Generating Station (named after the former General Manager of Almonte Hydro who spent over 50 years with the company and was instrumental in the rehabilitation of the old station and the plans to construct the new lower falls station), came online on April 9, 2010, with a generating capacity of 4.6 Megawatts, nearly doubling the capacity of the old station. . Running the station are two 1700mm Kaplan turbines (re-used from the old station) and two 2300 Kilowatt generators. At full capacity the station uses about 36 cubic metres per second (cms) of water. We also send approximately 2.2 cms over the middle falls weir for aesthetic purposes. 

For more information on the construction of the new station, visit the Lower Falls Redevelopment Project page.

 

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