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Ontario government announces that Niagara Tunnel Project nears completion


February 15, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

February 15, 2011

The Ontario government has said that mining on the Niagara Tunnel Project is nearing completion, which when finished, will provide Ontario with enough clean, renewable hydro power for 160,000 homes annually for the next 100 years.

The 4000-tonne boring machine, nicknamed ‘Big Becky’, is currently tunneling under the city of Niagara Falls. Accordingly to the government, approximately 90 percent of the machine’s 10.2-kilometre journey has been completed, and when the project is finished, the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station will increase its generating capacity by the equivalent of 200 MW.

“The development of this project has created over 6000 person years of great green jobs and high-end employment, provided our economy with nearly a billion dollars of capital infusion,” said Kim Craitor MPP Niagara Falls. “With the completion of this project we will have the safest supply of green energy anywhere.”

The project is said to have employed more than 230 full-time construction workers and brought approximately $1 billion in related investment into the region.

“This is a truly amazing project. Clean energy projects like the Niagara Tunnel are exactly what we as Ontarians need to supply our homes, and our businesses. It will provide water to generate low-cost, clean renewable power for a hundred years to come,” said Tom Mitchell, president, Ontario Power Generation.

In 2010, Ontario announced the Lower Mattagami Hydro Project, which was said to add 440 MW of clean electricity and create 800 construction jobs in northeastern Ontario.