Official Grand Opening in the Summer of 2018
NEWS Nov 29, 2017 by Stephannie Johnson Parry Sound North Star
PARRY SOUND — The Cascade Street Generating Station is up and running.
Aside from a few minor items to complete including its testing phase, the facility is ready to produce electricity.
Fully computerized, the $17.5 million station can be controlled in Parry Sound, or remotely.
“We have the ability to control it in manual (setting), or by kilowatt set point, or level,” said Bryan Ingram, Bracebridge Generation Ltd. operations manager. “Where we’re running at right about now is about 92 per cent efficient in extracting the potential energy into kinetic energy. And at peak, which is about two thirds of what it’s capable of producing … at the peak efficiency is about 94 per cent.”
Instead of guess work and trial and error, the system can take a number of factors into account and make changes immediately.
“It’s pretty neat to see that the whole Parry Sound Seguin system was kind of run by driving around and looking at the water level and making a change. The old facility was all manual and basically the guys would stop in the morning, look at the water level, adjust the machine based on instinct — trying to balance the water level with the machine output and then at the end of the day checking in and see where they were,” Ingram said. “This automated system basically keeps this system right where it needs to be and it will open and close the gates, if there’s a disturbance on the grid like a power outage a protection system sees it and turns off the machine and sends us an email.”
Ingram said for those living along the waterways upstream and downstream of the facility, they will likely see more consistent water levels with the new station.
“During a rainstorm — for example — the system will automatically see it and start to increase and use the water that comes down the system. It’s highly efficient in using what water is there.”
Performance testing of the station should be complete within the next month with landscaping finished in the spring of 2018 and an official grand opening in the summer.