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- May 2017
Churchill Falls hydro-electric project
The Churchill Falls hydro-electric project was inaugurated by Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, on June 16, 1972. This hydro-electric plant was constructed between 1967 and 1975 and completed one year ahead of the predicted schedule. At the height of its construction, approximately 6,300 workers were present in the summer of 1970. The majority of construction occurred in the summer months, although construction continued year-round despite harsh conditions in Labrador where temperatures dipped to -21°C with a mean annual snowfall of 406 centimeters. The Churchill Falls power station is located in southern Labrador about 1,100 kilometers from an urban area. The Churchill Falls hydro-electric project was the largest hydro-electric project at the time, capable of generating 5,225 mW of electricity. It creates this energy by utilizing the water of the Churchill and Naskaupi Rivers which have a total catchment area of about 67,340 km2 combined. The underground power station is about 305 meters below ground. It uses eleven generators with a combined capacity of 5,225,000 kW. In order to utilize this harvested energy, large power lines capable of handling voltages up to 735 kV were put in place to transmit the energy from Churchill Falls to the Hydro-Quebec transmission system in the Manicouagan-Outardes hydro complex. The distance between these two stations is 606 kilometers. The energy from Churchill Falls was also transmitted via power lines to the Labrador City-Wabush area (Crabb, 1973).
Crabb, P. (1973). Churchill Falls- The Costs and Benefits of a Hydro-Electric Development Project. Geography, 330-335.