Canada Turns to Niagara Falls for Energy ; Ontario Wants to Extract More Hydroelectric Power from Niagara Falls and Close Coal-Burning Plants
Fred LanganCorrespondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
Niagara Falls has meant honey moon since the late 19th century. Oscar Wilde made wisecracks about it; and a song about newlyweds shuffling off to Buffalo for a look at the falls is part of the classic 1933 musical, 42nd Street.
It's also the most powerful waterfall in North America, producing more hydroelectric power than any other waterfall in the world. They started making power here about the same time the honeymooners first arrived.
That means it's looking increasingly attractive to Ontario's government as an alternative power source as energy costs rise and the government struggles to make sure it has enough electricity.
The Ontario authorities have also vowed to shut down its coal- burning power plants.
Now the second largest tunneling project ever will bring more water to existing turbines on the Canadian side, generating enough new electricity to run 160,000 homes.
"The focus is on how to find as much clean and renewable energy as possible, and this fits the bill," says Emad Elsayed, vice president of hydroelectric development at Ontario Power Generation, which is owned by the Ontario government and operates the hydroelectric plants on the Canadian side of the falls.
The giant drilling machine, made by the Robbins Company of Solon, Ohio, will start boring through hard rock in early September. …