Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations
April 12, 2019
Sir Adam Beck Generating Stations

In the village of Queenston, about 6 miles or 10 kilometers down river of the Falls, is Niagara's largest power station. Named after Sir Adam Beck, the Ontario government minister responsible for hydroelectric development, the first generating station was built in 1917. It was the region's largest construction project. Construction of the second station began in 1950 and was completed in 1958 when the plant opened. Over seven thousand workers were employed. There is a large statue of Sir Adam Beck on University Avenue in Toronto. Water that is diverted up river from Niagara Falls at the International control dam is shared equally for hydroelectric power generation between Canada and the USA. Across the river from the Sir Adam Beck station is the Robert Moses power plant on the US side. The total generating capacity of the Niagara River is about 4 million kilowatts or five million horsepower. These huge power stations were built down river of Niagara Falls on the escarpment where the drop of elevation from the top of the gorge down to the river below is the greatest. This makes it the most efficient location for hydroelectric power generation using the force of gravity through the Pens stocks to drive the turbines. Generating electricity at this location, as well, doesn’t distract from the natural beauty of Niagara Falls.

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