.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

Seven Sisters Hydroelectric Dam, Manitoba

00 Seven Sisters

Almost all of the electricity generated in the province of Manitoba is clean hydroelectric power.  Some argue that the plants are large and unsightly, but once they have been built, they churn our clean power.  There are a number of such plants in Manitoba, many of them located on its eastern edge.

The Seven Sisters Generating Station is the largest hydroelectric plant on the Winnipeg River.  I’d first visited this plant when I was a young boy and have been back a few times since, my last visit a few years ago.

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Constructions on the Seven Sisters station started in 1929 and the plant was operational, generating power, in 1931 — 75 megawatts from three turbine-generators.  An expansion of the station began in 1948, when three additional generators were installed, increasing capacity to 165 megawatts (annualized to 990 million kilowatt-hours).  The plant is now nearly fully automated, with only minimal on-site staff servicing the facility on a daily basis.

The powerhouse is 128 meters long and has a throughput of 1,146 cubic metres of water per second, with a total drop of 18.6 meters.  The station has a 225-meter-long spillway.  The upriver reservoir feeding the plant is called Natalie Lake and is used for recreational activities like boating and fishing.

When the Seven Sisters plant turned 50 years old, a major rehabilitation project was conducted.  It was necessary to repair the station’s north dam, the powerhouse, spillway and so on.  The station’s electrical and mechanical equipment was also upgraded.

You can learn more about this Seven Sisters’ power plant history in this short video clip.

For details of the following photos, click on thumbnails to enlarge:


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