Canadian Consulting Engineer

News

Portlands generation station under construction in downtown Toronto

Construction is under way on the Portlands Energy Centre in downtown Toronto on the eastern waterfront.


Construction is under way on the Portlands Energy Centre in downtown Toronto on the eastern waterfront.
The 550-MW combined cycle natural gas generation plant is being built on the site of the mothballed R.L. Hearn Generating station in the port lands area, east of Leslie Street. Despite some opposition from citizens and environmentalists, the Hearn site was deemed the best location because it has direct access to an existing substation and is close to natural gas pipelines, providing its source of fuel.
The $739-million generating plant will initially operate in simple cycle mode in order to meet peak demands in the summer of 2008. The plant will then be closed down that fall to complete work on the combined cycle technology and is expected to be running as a fully operating combined system by the spring of 2009. It is designed to supply about a quarter of Toronto’s electricity needs as a “peaking” station, that is, operating only at times of the day when power demands are highest.
Ontario Power Generation and TransCanada Energy are jointly developing the plant. SNC-Lavalin is contracted to do the engineering-procurement-construction (EPC) work, and the architect is Stone McGuire Vogt. Senes Consultants have been doing environmental studies.
Site work began last September. So far the foundations have been poured and work on the water channels is being carried out. The turbines are expected on site in June, after which the walls will be built around them.
In January it was announced that a large solar research facility is also to be built on the Portlands Energy Centre site. The University of Toronto and ARISE Technology are collaborating on the project with PEC. The plant will use high efficiency PV cell technology and is expected to generate up to 1 MW. It will cost up to $8 million to build.