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Portlands Energy Centre

Built to replace the decommissioned R.L. Hearn Thermal Generating Station in the city's Portlands Region, the Portlands Energy Centre is a state-of-the-art, 550MW, natural gas-fired power station that ties into the 115KV transmission system that powers most of downtown Toronto. Rather than sit on the site of the old Hearn plant, the new plant sits on a site adjacent to it.

Location attributes for Portlands Energy Centre
Location   Toronto, Ontario
Built :: Closed   2009 :: N/A
Status   Active
Difficulty   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Portlands Energy Centre is a joint project between the province and TransCanada Energy that was envisioned in the early part of the century as a way of generating electricity in Toronto. This was badly needed, as the city's feeder transmission system was badly overloaded, particularly the 115KV systems. The problem hadn't existed when Hearn was in operation, but once it shut down and the city core continued to grow the problems became apparent.

Construction of the plant began in late 2005 / early 2006, and was completely operational in twin-stage operation by late 2009, generating the full 550MW of power.

A surprise occurred in 2010, when the plant was revealed to be a participant in the annual Doors Open Toronto event, allowing the general public a chance to peek at the innards of the plant. And what a chance it was; near-full access to the ground floor of the plant, explanations on how the entire system worked, and the opportunity to take as many photos as we wanted... some guides even slowed down their groups deliberately to allow for the photographers to have their fun.

All unexpected from the management of what is critical infrastructure, but I'll take it.

Doors Open Toronto 2010 - May 2010
Night Shots - June 2010
Doors Open 2013 - May 2013
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