Winnipeg River Dams
The Winnipeg River flows 235 kilometers from the Norman Dam in Kenora Ontario, westward to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. Used by First Nations for thousands of years, the river system was important for trade, travel, harvesting, and access to settlements. The river was also a major transportation route for fur traders and early explores.
The first hydroelectric plant on the Winnipeg River was constructed by the Winnipeg Electric Street Railway near Pinawa in 1906. This plant operated until 1951, when it was decommissioned to improve water flow to other Winnipeg River Stations.
Six hydroelectric dams bisect the Winnipeg River in Manitoba, generating a total of 583 megawatts annually. From east to west, generating stations are located at Pointe du Bois, Slave Falls, Seven Sisters Falls, McArthur Falls, Great Falls and Pine Falls. All Manitoba dams are owned and operated by Manitoba Hydro.
Point du Bois is the oldest power plant still operating on the Winnipeg River. Construction took 20 years being completed in 1926. Stretching 135 meters across the river Point du Bois has 16 turbines and a capacity of 78 megawatts.
Slave Falls was constructed between 1928 and 1948. The powerhouse is 180 meters long with a capacity of 67 megawatts.
Seven Sisters is the largest Winnipeg River producer of electricity with a capacity of 165 megawatts. The powerhouse was built from 1929 to 1931. Additional units were added between 1948 to 1952, doubling energy output. Today the powerhouse stretches 128 meters across a waterfall drop of 18.6 meters.
McArthur was completed in 1955, is the smallest and most recently constructed generating station on the Winnipeg River with a capacity of 55 megawatts.
Great Falls was developed by Winnipeg Electric Railway Company between 1914 to 1928. Now owned by Manitoba Hydro, the powerhouse is 116 meters long, has six turbines, and has a capacity of 131 megawatts.
Pine Falls is the last station along the Winnipeg River before it empties into Lake Winnipeg 13 kilometers away. It was completed in 1952, stretches 151 meters, houses six turbine generators and has a capacity of 88 megawatts.