5 facts about the Sir Adam Beck Hydropower Plant


The Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations sit peacefully along the lower Niagara River producing power for thousands of Canadian homes and industries. Here’s five quick facts you should know about the plant.

1. It was the largest hydroplant in the world

When the Queenston-Chippawa Development (now known as Sir Adam Beck I) opened on December 28, 1921, it was the largest hyrdoelectric power plant in the world!

The plant expanded in 1954 to include the Adam Beck II plant, creating even more power. Which brings us to number 2…

2. The plant can power a time machine!

In Back to the Future, Doc famously proclaims that the DeLorean needs 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to work. The Adam Beck stations can make up to 2.1 gigawatts!

To make that kind of power, you need a lot of water. How much water?

3. The intakes could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in seconds

A new tunnel was recently dug to bring more water to the plant. The tunnel is 12.7 meters wide, and 10.2 kilometers long.  That’s the length of 18 CN Towers on their side!

4. It can use water to make energy TWICE

With the help of the Sir Adam Beck Pump Generating Station, water can be stored in a reservoir until its needed. It then runs through the plant, and down to Adam Beck I and II.

In other words, the same water is used to make electricity twice!

5. It’s a National Historic Site

Having shaped the future of hydroelectricity as we know it, the Adam Beck I plant was declared a Canadian National Historic Site in 1990.


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