On June 13, 2012, Energy Ottawa signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire three additional hydroelectric plants, and a 38.3 percent interest in the Ring Dam and remaining water rights at Chaudière Falls, from Domtar Corporation.
The three legacy hydroelectric stations have a total combined output of 21 MW (12 MW, 6 MW and 3 MW). Two of these generators are located in Ontario and one is in Quebec. All three of the purchased generators are currently interconnected with Hydro-Québec.
With this purchase, Energy Ottawa’s hydroelectric generating capacity more than doubled to 38 MW, enabling the company to generate enough clean, renewable energy to meet the annual needs of 40,000 households.
By attaining Domtar’s 38.3 percent share of the Ring Dam and Ottawa River water rights, Energy Ottawa increased its overall share to 67 per cent (Hydro-Québec owns the other 33 percent).
A major benefit of the acquisition is that the Chaudière Falls site is one of the largest remaining water-power sites available in Ontario, with expansion opportunities that could potentially see Energy Ottawa’s hydroelectric capacity grow to 60 MW.
Built in 1912, the Gatineau facility has a total installed capacity of 12 MW and average annual energy output of approximately 81 GWhs.
Although it has been well maintained over the years, its equipment is now approaching the end of its life.
Energy Ottawa is planning a rehabilitation process that would include replacing turbines, rewinding or replacing generators, building a new electrical room, and automating the equipment.
Studies have shown that upon completion of this rehabilitation process, the effective generating capacity would increase from 12 MW to 14 MW and the annual energy output would increase from 81 GWh to 91.6 GWh.
Built in 1918, the Ottawa facilities have a total installed capacity of 9.2 MW and an average energy output of approximately 64 GWhs.
Similar to the Gatineau station, their equipment is now approaching the end of its life.
After investigating several alternatives, it has been concluded that these facilities should be shut down and replaced with a new 29 MW power plant located, adjacent to the existing facilities.