Keeyask Hydropower Plant Can Generate up to 695 MW of Clean Electricity

The project consists of a seven-unit powerhouse separated from a seven-gate spillway, all connected by three dams across the rapids.

May 13, 2022. By News Bureau

The last of seven units at the Keeyask Generation Project, Canada's newest hydroelectric power facility, has been put into service. This is a significant achievement for the project and the Bechtel-led team, which includes Barnard Construction and EllisDon.

The project, which is located in Manitoba, Canada, is a crucial component in supplying 4,400-gigawatt hours of clean, safe, and reliable energy each year, enough to power nearly 400,000 households.

"Keeyask has created jobs and opportunities for thousands of people since construction began in 2014," said Dave Bowen, Manitoba Hydro's director of Project Management. "As the fourth largest generation station in Manitoba, it will supply reliable, renewable power to our customers' homes and businesses for decades to come, virtually carbon-free."

The project consists of a seven-unit powerhouse separated from a seven-gate spillway, all connected by three dams across the rapids. On the north and south sides, there are 23 kilometers of dykes, with a total reservoir area of 93 square kilometers.

The weather, topography, and the pandemic increased the challenges of the project. The power station was designed to harness the energy from the river with a per-cubic-meters-per-second volume twice that of Niagara Falls, at a project site located 10 degrees south of the Arctic Circle.

Winter temperatures in the region could dip to below -40º C. Execution of the project was made possible by its committed team, including over 9,000 construction workers over the life of the project, and by employing innovative logistics measures and tools, including placing extreme cold-weather concrete during the winter months.

All sand, rock, and clay needed for the job were mined on-site, including for the 334,000 m3 of concrete needed for the spillway and powerhouse structures.

"How we generate electricity is more important than ever before. The Keeyask Generation Project overcame many engineering challenges, balancing difficult construction conditions while abiding by stringent environmental guidelines," said Kelvin Sims, Bechtel's Infrastructure general manager, Americas. "This impressive project was possible through ingenuity and tenacity of people that contributed to its completion."

The Keeyask Generation project is a collaborative endeavor between Manitoba Hydro and the Keeyask Cree Nations, which includes Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, and Fox Lake Cree Nation. The generating station sits 30 kilometers west of Gillam, on the Nelson River, in the Split Lake Resource Management Area, and inside the ancestral homelands of the four partner First Nations.

Keeyask is one of the renewable and clean power projects that Bechtel is supporting to help customers on their path to net-zero emissions. Other projects include the Black Rock wind farm and the Cutlass solar farm in the United States, and floating offshore wind with Hexicon in the United Kingdom.
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