Hydro station has provided a century of clean, renewable energy

PETERBOROUGH, On, June 18, 2011 /CNW/ - A century of providing hydroelectric power to the people of Peterborough and surrounding area was celebrated today as Allan Reid, Manager, Central Hydro Plant Group, along with Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett and Jeff Leal, MPP for Peterborough unveiled a plaque commemorating 100 years of the supply of power from the Auburn Generating Station.

"Today's celebration is a testament to both the hard-working people of OPG who operate and maintain Auburn Generating Station," said Reid.  "OPG is looking forward to providing clean, reliable hydroelectricity to the people of Peterborough and surrounding area for another 100 years."

The Auburn Generating Station (GS), located on the Otonabee River, had two of its three units first brought into service in 1911, with the final unit brought online one year later.  Auburn GS produces a total of 2 megawatts of clean, renewable, reliable hydroelectric power, enough to power up to 2,000 homes.  It was purchased in 1916 by the Hydroelectric Power Commission of Ontario from the Electric Power Company.

"I would like to congratulate all involved for making the 100th anniversary celebrations of Auburn Generating Station such a tremendous success," said Leal.  "OPG's commitment to producing clean, renewable hydroelectricity is something all Ontarians can count on for another 100 years."

The station was also an early source of power for two key businesses, one that continues to operate in Peterborough today - the Auburn Woollen Mills Company, and the American Cereal Company, known today as PepsiCo Foods Canada Quaker Manufacturing Facility.

Auburn GS is a part of OPG's Central Hydro Plant Group portfolio and is operated remotely from a control centre in North Bay which is staffed 24/7 by a team of  hydroelectric operators. The facilities are maintained by skilled trades' staff at the plant group's Campbellford Service Centre.

"The City of Peterborough is grateful for the role the Auburn Generating Station has played in producing power to its residents for a century," added Mayor Bennett.  "Its presence along the Otonabee River is a reminder of the rich history of architecture and heritage found in this city."



In the early history of power development in Peterborough, Ontario, a wool mill company obtained water rights on the Otonabee River just north of the city limits. A few years later, a timber dam with stone piers was constructed. The power obtained was utilized for driving a woollen mill on the east side of the river and also to generate power which was supplied to the city of Peterborough. Later, the power plant was bought-out by the Auburn Power Company who operated for a number of years, utilizing water from the old Auburn woollen mill dam.

Auburn Generating Station was part of the Kerry Electric System which controlled much of the upper Otonabee River.

Edward Lennox, the man who helped build and design the station, was also well known for his many other architectural marvels. Lennox had already conceptualized Toronto's Old City Hall in 1889 as well as what turned into another of Toronto's famous landmarks, Casa Loma.  Lennox also commissioned two other power structures:  Nassau Mills Generating Station, located just north of Auburn and his last, Lakefield Generating Station, brought into service in 1928.

The original equipment of the Auburn Power Company consisted of one 250 kW, 2300 volt, three-phase, 60-cycle generator and exciter, one 100 kW and one 40 kW unit, the two latter units being 550 Vdc compound-wound railway generators. These were all driven by water wheel. Power and light were distributed in Peterborough as well as to the Peterborough Radial Railway Company. In 1910, the Auburn Power Company was purchased by the Electric Power Company including the water rights of the Auburn Woollen Mills Company.

A larger development was planned to economically utilize the minimum flow of the river at that point. Work started in 1910 on an entirely new plant, which was completed and placed in operation in early 1912. The plant operated in parallel with the company's Otonabee plant upstream (now Peterborough U.C.) and the American Cereal Company now PepsiCo Foods Canada Quaker Manufacturing Facility.

SOURCE Ontario Power Generation Inc.

For further information:

John Letherby
OPG Public Affairs
(705) 641-0697

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