- Hydroelectric Technology
- List of Hydroelectric Power
Posted by Energetic
In August, 1949, Joey Smallwood, Premier of Newfoundland, had the opportunity to see Churchill Falls for the first time and it became his obsession to develop the hydroelectric potential of the falls. In 1953 British Newfoundland Development Corporation (Brinco) was formed to do extensive exploration of the untapped water and mineral resources. With the development of the iron ore mines in western Labrador and the construction of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (1954), development of Churchill Falls as a power source became feasible.
After years of planning, the project was officially started on July 17, 1967. The machine hall of the power facility at Churchill Falls was hollowed out of solid rock, close to 1,000 ft (300 m) underground. Its final proportions are huge: in height it equals a 15-storey building, its length is three times that of a Canadian football field. When completed, it housed 11 generating units, with a combined capacity of 5,428 MW (7,279,000 hp). Water is contained by a reservoir created not by a single large dam, but by a series of 88 dikes that total 64 km (40 mi) in length. At the time, the project was the largest civil engineering project ever undertaken in North America.
Once all the dikes were in place, it provided a vast storage area which later became known as Smallwood Reservoir. This reservoir covers 2,200 sq mi (5,700 km2) and provides storage area for more than 1,000,000,000,000 cubic feet (2.8×1010 m3) of water.
The drainage area for the Churchill River includes much of western and central Labrador. Ossokmanuan Reservoir which was originally developed as part of the Twin Falls Power System also drains into this system. Churchill River's natural drainage area covers over 23,300 sq mi (60,000 km2). Once Orma and Sail lakes' outlets were diked, it added another 4,400 sq mi (11,000 km2) of drainage for a total of 27,700 sq mi (72,000 km2). This makes the drainage area larger than the Republic of Ireland. Studies showed this drainage area collected 410 mm (16 in) of rainfall plus 391 cm (154 in) of snowfall annually equalling 12.5 cu mi (52 km3) of water per year; more than enough to meet the project's needs. Construction came to fruition on December 6, 1971, when Churchill Falls went into full-time production.
The generating station is owned by the Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation Ltd. — whose shareholders are Nalcor (65.8%) and Hydro-Québec (34.2%) and operated by the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro company.The government of Quebec considered the inland watershed of Labrador to be part of their province and fought a long but losing legal battle to prevent granting the territory to Newfoundland at the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Churchill Falls hydroelectric power plant development was undertaken in the absence of any agreement with the aboriginal Innu people of Labrador. The construction involved the flooding of over 5,000 km2 (1,900 sq mi) of traditional hunting and trapping lands. A recent agreement signed between the government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Innu offered the Labrador Innu hunting rights within 34,000 square kilometres of land, plus $2 million annually in compensation for flooding.
|Churchill Falls generating station|
|Installed capacity:||5,428 MW (7,279,000 hp)|
|Annual energy output:||35,000 GWh (130,000 TJ)|
|Number of turbines:||11|
|Turbine capacity:||493.5 MW (661,800 hp)|
|Type of turbine:||vertical Francis type, 200 rpm|
|Generators:||15 kV, 526,315 kV·A|
|Transformers:||14.75 kV/240 kV, rated at 5,500 MV·A|
|Net rated head:||312.4 m (1,025 ft)|
|Maximum tailrace discharge:||49,000 ft³/s (1,390 m³/s)|
|Powerhouse:||296 m (971 ft) length, 25 m (82 ft) width, 47 m (154 ft) height, 310 m (1,020 ft) below ground|
|Tailrace tunnels:||2 × 1,691 m (5,548 ft), 14 m (46 ft) width, 19 m (62 ft) height|
|Penstocks:||11 × 427 m (1,401 ft) length, 20 ft (6.1 m) diameter|
|Cable shafts:||11 × 7 ft (2.13 m) diameter, 263 m (863 ft) deep|
|Dikes:||88; 64.4 km (40.0 mi) total length, 9 m (30 ft) average height, 36 m (118 ft) maximum height|
|Size of reservoir:||6,988 km2 (2,698 sq mi)|
|Total catchment area:||71,700 km2 (27,700 sq mi)|