Reprinted Courtesy of Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corpororation
Compiled by Peter Green - IEEE

This site describes the main features of the Churchill Falls hydro development, the infrastructure required to support it in the remoteness of the central Labrador wilderness, and the principal aspects of its operation. The heart of the project is the 5,428,500 KW underground power station, one of the largest in the world.


Churchill Falls is located in the Labrador region of the province of Newfoundland, Canada

Switchyard and Transmission Lines

The History of Churchill Falls -- In 1839, John MacLean was the first white man to visit the Churchill River and its 75m (245 ft) waterfall. In 1947, a preliminary survey of the falls and river confirmed the huge hydro-electric potential of the area.  After five years of non-stop field work by approximately 6,300 workers on December 6, 1971 the first two generating units began delivering power.

Pictures from the Construction Years -- Early pictures of the machine hall, transformer gallery, switchyard, a lobstick structure, control structure, intake and spillway.

Detailed Technical Specifications -- Project Area,  5,428,500 kw Rated Capacity, 680,000 HP Turbines, 715/236 kv Transformers, 715 kv Transmission Lines, 3 Reservoirs, 88 Dykes, Powerhouse Cross-section, Turbine Generator Cross-section, etc.

Current Operations -- To control water levels and the flow through the facility, three spillways, three control structures and a intake are monitored and adjusted. The eleven turbines of the powerhouse generates 5,428 MW, most of which is transferred to the Hydro-Quebec grid via 735 kv and 230kv transmission lines.

Looking Forward -- The Lower Churchill development located 200 km downstream of Churchill Falls would add another 2,264 MW to the electric grid.  The Upper Churchill development would be within a kilometer of the existing facility and it would add another 1,000 MW. Proposed completion for both projects is 2006-2008. Details concerning these proposals and press releases can be found at the web sites noted below.

Other sites for information on this topic:

Government of Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro

Hydro Quebec