I see a different side of the pumped storage project after reading Steven Carr’s letter to the editor dated December 16, 2021.
Let’s imagine that we could see the water pumped uphill and flushed downhill during the day. What could it look like, or what would it be?
The engineers at Ontario Pump Storage tell us that a reservoir for the project holds 20 million cubic meters or 20 billion litres of water. It needs to be filled at night in 11 hours to produce 1,000 MW of electricity. The total electricity produced is equivalent to twice the output (403.9 MW) from Sir Adam Beck Station #1 at Niagara Falls. Two other larger power generation plants are located at Niagara Falls.
Imagine the water flowing off Cape Rich (Niagara escarpment) while emptying the DND reservoir 150 meters or 492 feet above Georgian Bay in 8 hours. It would be a more impressive natural spectacle than Niagara Falls because the highest drop at Niagara Falls is 180 feet tall, but the amount of water would be similar, if not more.
It is all hidden underground, but the force of the water coming down would impact Georgian Bay the same way as water falling off a cliff. Is it possible or realistic for OPS to mitigate the speed and force of the water flowing underground to sufficiently minimize or marginalize the impact on marine life, turbidity, and Georgian Bay’s ecosystem?
Pat Zita, Meaford