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Bay d'Espoir generating station is 50 years old

The main powerhouse at the Bay d’Espoir hydroelectric generating station.
The main powerhouse at the Bay d’Espoir hydroelectric generating station.

It’s been half a century years since power first began flowing from the Bay d’Espoir hydroelectric generating station.

The date was May 12, 1967.

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady marked the milestone in the House of Assembly today.

“The Bay d’Espoir plant was constructed to provide the island with a large source of affordable hydroelectric power,” she said.

“Bay d'Espoir remains a key part of our energy infrastructure as Hydro continues to improve and develop our electricity resources for future generations.”

 The Bay d'Espoir system is made up of a sequence of reservoirs that extend over 150 kilometres, beginning at Victoria Lake near the road to Burgeo and continuing to Long Pond in Bay d'Espoir, Coady noted.

Nearly 100 people work at the plant, which supplies power to hundreds of thousands of people across the province.

“The system has a generating capacity of more than 600 megawatts of power which is produced from the seven generating units at the Bay d'Espoir hydroelectric generating facility, as well as the hydroelectric facilities at Upper Salmon and Granite Canal which were developed later,” Coady said.

“Combined, these three hydroelectric generating plants provide about 75 per cent of the hydroelectric power generated on the island.”

The construction of an additional 188-kilometre high-voltage transmission line running from Bay d’Espoir to the Avalon Peninsula is presently underway and is anticipated to be in service this fall.

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