Preparations underway to operate the spillway at Muskrat Falls
July 22, 2016 – Preparations are underway at Muskrat Falls for operation of the spillway this summer.
Operation of the spillway is a significant milestone in the construction of the new hydroelectric generating facility at Muskrat Falls. The spillway has five bays with gates that open and close as needed to control the flow of water. Once in operation and water is flowing through the spillway, activities to build the main dam across the river can begin, signaling the next major phase of construction activity at the site.
“We’ve had our sights clearly focused on achieving this milestone since construction first began on the spillway in 2013,” said Gilbert Bennett, Executive Vice President of Power Development with the Lower Churchill Project. “Over the next month, we will complete the final activities required to safely and successfully place the spillway in operation and divert the river at Muskrat Falls.”
Achievement of this milestone is a culmination of efforts by the project team and several contractors working on the spillway component. Astaldi Canada completed placement of concrete for the spillway, Andritz Hydro Canada Inc. supplied and installed the spillway gates and hydro-mechanical equipment, and Barnard Pennecon Limited Partnership constructed and removed temporary cofferdams at Muskrat Falls, as well as the temporary bridge over the spillway.
River diversion activities have begun with rock material being placed across the river channel to build a cofferdam (temporary dam) upstream of the location where the main dam will be constructed. As this work progresses, the spillway gates will be opened to let water flow through the spillway. As rock is placed across the lower Churchill River, water flow through the spillway will increase. When rock placement has advanced all the way across the river channel, the spillway will be fully operational and all of the water flow at Muskrat Falls will be through the spillway. This will enable preparation for construction of the main dam at Muskrat Falls to begin.