In 2005 the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation requested that private industry develop generation facilities at the Lock 1, 2 & 3 control weirs to take advantage of the continuous flow of water that was available. Rankin Renewable Power Inc. submitted a proposal and has now financed and constructed these stations in return for 25 years of ownership and operation to recoup the investment.
Power purchase agreements for each of the stations were obtained through the Ontario Standard Offer Program for renewable energy. These contracts provide a long term premium price for renewable energy and enabled rapid connection to the grid.
At each of the three weirs the stations are built into the downstream side of the structure using the existing underflow gates. This both simplifies construction and significantly reduced the ecological impact of the stations.
In November of 2008 Rankin Construction completed the first two stations and in September of 2009 the third station was complete they are all now connected to the grid and providing clean, reliable power to the people of the Niagara Region.