Category Archives: Bonnechere River

First Chute – Bonnechere River

The Chute, Bonnechere River

The Chute, Bonnechere River

First Chute on the Bonnechere River – New Clear Point Generating Station Waterpower Project, 32 Bridge Avenue W., Renfrew, ON.   Statemenet of Completion was issued; however, construction has not moved forward at this time.

Renfrew Power Generation (RPG) is proposing to construct a 1.7 MW hydro power project at the First Chute site at the top of Reach 1 of the Bonnechere River in eastern Ontario near the Town of Renfrew, Ontario. The proposed project involves construction of a “run of river” with a small headpond along the Bonnechere River. Construction of a dam across the falls is proposed to raise the head to greater than the natural head of 9 meters in order to make the project economic. The river water will then be naturally directed into an earth canal which follows a former canal. The downstream end of the canal will have an intake structure and 2 penstocks which lead into the powerhouse. The project would comprise of a single power plant and a 44 kV transmission line. The scope of the project includes physical impacts associated with the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of the proposed works including temporary access facilities, associated approaches, storage sites and other undertakings directly associated with the generating station. Under section 5 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, an environmental assessment is required for this project because Transport Canada has been asked to provide regulatory approval pursuant to section 5(1)(a) of the Navigable Waters Protection Act and Fisheries and Oceans Canada may issue a permit or license under subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act.

MNR Site: 2KC11
Location:  Renfrew, ON
Status:  Statement of Completion
Contact:  [email protected]



Bonnechere River – Renfrew Upper Plant – Upgrade and Expansion

Renfrew Upper Plant on the Bonnechere River – an upgrade and expansion under the HESOP.  Thompson Road, RR#1, Horton, ON.

Renfrew Power Generation Inc. owns and operates two dams and two power generating plants in the Town of Renfrew on the Bonnechere River. In addition, there are 3 control dams on Golden Lake, Round Lake and Lake Clear that are used as reservoirs to moderate the flow of the river throughout the year.

The Upper Plant is a three-unit hydroelectric station. The station was put into service in 1913 consisting of two generation units (Units 1 & 2) and one water turbine for municipal water pumping. In 1950, the water pump was replaced with a third generator (Unit #3) and Units 1 & 2 were rewound from 2 phase to three phase operation. The station has an installed capacity of 1.023 MW at a head of 11.2 metres.

The Upper Plant is a run-of-river operation. The generating cycle starts with spring freshet where water flows exceed the generator capacity and water is bypassed till early summer. During this period, the reservoir lakes are filled. Mid summer to mid fall, the reservoirs are drawn down but there is insufficient water flow to run the plant to capacity. Fall rains will partially fill the reservoir lakes until at freeze up in mid-December and the Lakes are drawn down to the pre spring freshet levels.

The Upper Plant consists of a dam structure, which consists of four spillways. The dam uses stop logs in the 4 spillways to control the level of the headwaters. The intake to the station consists of a concrete canal from the dam to the headwork which houses the isolation gates and intakes to the three generating units. There are steel gate to the inlets of each of the generators that can be lowered to isolate the downstream equipment. The gates are directly in front of the water chest that houses the turbines and consequently, there are no penstocks. The water chests for Units 1 & 2 are concrete and are part of the power house structure. Unit # 3 is housed in a cylindrical steel water chest that is affixed to the power house. The tailrace discharge exits the powerhouse and provides water for the head pond that feeds the Lower Plant.

The Upper Plant is connected to the Renfrew Hydro System 4.16kV MS1-F1 feeder.

This hydroelectric generating station generates approximately 6,315 MWh of renewable energy per year.

Location: Renfrew, ON
River System: Bonnechere River
Nameplate Capacity: 1.023 MW
OPA Contracted Capacity: 0.999 MW
Operator: Renfrew Power Generation Inc
Technology: Hydroelectric
Turbines: Three horizontal Francis turbines
Originally Built: 1913
Coordinate: 45°28’39.19″N, 76°41’32.73″ W


Bonnechere River – Renfrew Lower Plant – Upgrade and Expansion

This is an upgrade and expansion through the Hydroelectric Standard Offer Program (HESOP) – municipal stream.  Thompson Road, RR 1, Horton

Renfrew Power Generation Inc. owns and operates two dams and two power generating plants on the Bonnechere River, in the Town of Renfrew. In addition, there are 3 control dams on Golden Lake, Round Lake and Lake Clear that are used as reservoirs to moderate the flow of the river throughout the year. The Lower Plant is a two-unit hydroelectric station. This station has its own dam structure which holds back water from the discharge of the Upper Plant. The station was put into service in 1902 consisting of two generation units (Units 4 & 5), and has an installed capacity of 1.003 MW at a head of 11.7 metres.

The Lower Plant is a run-of-river operation. The generating cycle starts with spring freshet where water flows exceed the generator capacity and water is bypassed till early summer. During this period, the reservoir lakes are filled. Mid summer to mid fall, the reservoirs are drawn down but there is insufficient water flow to run the plant to capacity. Fall rains will partially fill the reservoir lakes until at freeze up in mid-December and the Lakes are drawn down to the pre spring freshet levels.

The Lower Plant consists of a dam structure, which consists of four spillways. Three spillways use stop logs for level control and one has a steel gate for flood control. There are two intakes with trash racks and headwork gates, two steel pipe penstocks approximately 75 metres in length and 2.2 metres in diameter. There are steel gates to the inlets of each of the penstocks that can be lowered to isolate the downstream equipment.

The Lower Plant is connected to the Renfrew Hydro System 4.16kV MS2-F3 feeder.

This hydroelectric generating station generates approximately 6,185 MWh of renewable energy per year.
Location: Renfrew, ON
River System: Bonnechere River
Nameplate Capacity: 1.003 MW
OPA Contracted Capacity: 0.999 MW
Operator: Renfrew Power Generation Inc.
Technology: Hydroelectric
Turbines: Two horizontal Francis turbines
Originally Built: 1902
Coordinate: 45°28’47.97″N, 76°41’22.52″ W

Project Contacts:

Ontario Power Authority


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