Monday, June 20, 2011

What is going on with Niagara hydroelectic generation

Tunnel will increase Canada's power generation capacity - Business - The Buffalo News

The most recent project has been sold as increasing clean hydro output - but this article makes it appear as if it is really transferring output for the US side to the Canadian side.

"Up to 1.6 million gallons per second would flow over the falls if they were untouched, said John Kangas, chairman of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the non-tourist season, only about 375,000 gallons per second, or less than a quarter of the total flow, goes over the falls.
The new tunnel will not change that amount, because the U.S. has been drawing off whatever amount of water Canada could not handle, up to the treaty limit. The U.S. used the water to generate power, and then sent half of it back to Canada, Kangas said. The rest of that power was taken by the U.S. as a rental fee. "The U.S. has had more capability to produce energy, but now with the new tunnel they (Ontario Power Generation) have the capacity to process that water," Kangas said."

The original link to the Buffalo News article no longer functions, but the same content is repeated here.

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