R.H. Saunders generating facility hosts rare tour as 60th anniversary approaches

A view of the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence River from the middle of the Moses-Saunders Dam, during a June 23 tour of the Canadian side of the almost-60-year-old generating facility. Courtesy photo by Brian McRae

CORNWALL — On the eve of the generating station’s 60th anniversary, the public enjoyed a more complete tour of the R. H. Saunders generating station on the Canadian half of the Moses-Saunders power dam — aka the Cornwall dam — than has been available in years.

Yesterday’s special tour took visitors to the vicinity of Ontario Power Generation’s control room near the dam’s centre. The spot previously serving for decades as the original Visitor’s Centre until the 9/11 terrorist attacks south of the border prompted its closure and conversion into a control room. (OPG has since opened a new visitor’s centre on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, some distance away from the dam itself.)

R.H. Saunders is the second largest hydroelectric generating station in OPG’s fleet, officially going into service 60 years ago on July 1. The U.S. half of the one-kilometre-wide dam — not accessible during yesterday’s tour — features a similarly sized generating facility operated by the New York Power Authority. (The American sister station goes by the name St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project.)

Those on the tour also received a look at the operations of the eel ladder that helps the species get past the manmade obstruction.

OPG employee and tour guide Andy Narezny explains the workings of the dam. Courtesy photo by Brian McRae



Six-year-old Jaxson Zeran of Avonmore remotely operates one of the largest cranes in the area with an OPG R.H Saunders Generating Station employee. Courtesy photo by Brian McRae


Courtesy photo by Brian McRae


Live eels from the eel ladder and explanation on how it works. Courtesy photo by Brian McRae


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