Churchill Falls Generating Station is Canada’s second largest power station, located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is an underground hydropower station.
Churchill Falls Generating Station has an installed capacity of 5,428 MW, which is after the Robert-Bourassa Generating Station in northwest Quebec.
The reservoir formed by the secondary power station is not composed of a dam, but surrounded by 88 dams, with a total length of 64 kilometers.
Now known as Smallwood Reservoir, it is larger than the Republic of Ireland. It fell more than 305 meters and reached the location of the 11 turbines of the plant.
The powerhouse of the factory was cut from granite 300 meters underground. It is about 300 meters long and has 15 floors.
The construction cost of the station in 1970 was nearly 1 billion Canadian dollars. It was put into use from 1971 to 1974 and is owned and operated by Churchill Falls Labrador Co., Ltd. (CFLCo).
Churchill Falls Generating Station Construction began in July 1967. It was the largest civil engineering project ever in North America and the largest underground power plant in the world at that time.
After five years of uninterrupted work by 6,300 workers, nearly US$1 billion was spent in 1970. The first two generating sets started supplying electricity in 1971, nearly half a year earlier than planned. In 1974, the station was put into full-time production.
The 225 MW Twin Falls Power Station was commissioned in 1963 and was crucial to the subsequent power development of Churchill Falls. It helped open up the area and provided the required electricity during the construction phase of the project.
However, higher power generation efficiency can be achieved at the planning stage by transferring water from Ossokmanuan Reservoir to Smallwood Reservoir. Using this water at the Churchill Falls plant can generate approximately three times as much electricity from the same water volume.
In July 1974, the Twin Falls plant was closed, and the water was transferred to the Smallwood Reservoir according to an agreement with CFLCo.
Technical parameter data
The natural drainage area of the Churchill River exceeds 60,000 km² (23,000 sq mi). The Dyma Orma and Sail lakes bring the total area to 72,000 km² (28,000 square miles).
Studies have shown that the annual precipitation collected in the basin is 410 mm (16 inches), and the amount of snow removal is 391 cm (154 inches), which is equivalent to 12.5 cubic miles (52 km³) of water per year; sufficient to meet the needs of the project.
The total drip volume from Lake Ashuanipi to Lake Melville is 1,735 feet (529 m). In contrast, the amount of water 30 kilometers (19 miles) upstream until it enters the power plant has fallen by more than 1,000 feet (300 m).
The machine room is hewn from solid granite, about 300 m (980 ft) underground. The 1,800,000m³ of rock excavated is used for roads, town construction and embankment materials.
The hall is about 300 m (980 ft) long, 25 m (82 ft) wide, and about 50 m (160 ft) high. It accommodates 11 generator sets. The wheels of the Francis turbine are cast stainless steel and weigh 73 tons each.
The water is composed of a reservoir not formed by a single dam but by a series of 88 dams with a total length of 64 km (40 miles).
The Smallwood Reservoir covers an area of 5,700 km² (2200 square miles) and can hold more than 1,000,000,000,000 cubic feet (2.8 × 10 10 m³) of water.“
Churchill Falls Generating Station Data
- North America
- In use
- Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
- Official website
- 946 million CAD ( About US $1 billion in 1970)
- Building Volume
- 2,200,000 m³ (2,900,000 cu yd)
- Spillway type
- 88 rock-filled dikes
- Installed capacity
- Churchill River
- Reservoi name
- Smallwood Reservoir, Ossokmanuan Reservoir
- Total capacity
- 32.64 km³ (1.153×10¹² cu ft)
- Catchment area
- 71,750 km² (27,700 sq mi)
- Reservoir area
- 6,988 km² (2,698 sq mi)
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