The Fort Frances Generating Station is an eight-unit hydroelectric station located on the Rainy River in the town of Fort Frances.
The station was built in 1909 and equipped with horizontal turbines that were used to grind wood and generate power. In 1954, all original equipment was removed and replaced with eight vertical turbine generators. The station has an installed capacity of 13.1 MW at a gross head of 9.1 metres.
Located 4 km from the outlet of Rainy Lake, the station is a run-of-river plant. The station’s civil structure extends across Rainy Lake and the US-Canada border and joins with Boise Cascade’s dam facilities located in International Falls, Minnesota. Peaking operations are restricted by a number of factors including the IJC-ordered Rainy Lake rule curves and minimum flows. Operations pertaining to levels and flows are governed under the International Rainy Lake Board of Control (IRLBC) control orders. The control orders specify the rule curve elevations and flow requirements for the combined Fort Frances-International dam operation. The combined facility is subject to an instantaneous minimum flow of 100 m3/s.
Fort Frances station consists of a powerhouse, a concrete gravity section containing the spillway, ten sluice gates, and a canal section which hosts five sluice gates. Each generating unit is provided with two head gates, which are operated by a common electrically operated rack and pinion hoist. There are two distinct spillways associated with the station. The first spillway is a five bay canal structure located on the north side of the powerhouse. The gates are operated by a rack and pinion hoist. The second spillway is located on the south side of the station and consists of ten rack and pinion vertical operated lift gates.
All spill flows for the Fort Frances/International Falls complex are associated with the Fort Frances facility. The head pond operates between the minimum elevation of 382.2 metres and maximum elevation of 382.75 metres.
Fort Frances is connected to the existing Hydro One 115kV circuit F2B and connects to Fort Frances TS.
- Location: Fort Frances, ON
- River System: Rainy River
- Capacity: 13.1 MW
- Turbines: 8 vertical propeller
- Originally Built: 1909
- Rebuilt to vertical units: 1954
- Runners Replaced: 2018