This is one of those places – one of those places that looks really cool but for some reason I’ve just never had the opportunity to stop and look at. So… I did.
This dam can be seen from both sides of the Trent river, but you have to look for it carefully if you’re on Highway 4 passing by Trent Severn Lock 3 as it’s hidden behind trees beyond the approach channel to the lock. On the other side of the river it’s even harder to see from Highway 33 as it’s almost totally obscured by the Sonoco Mill.
Maybe that’s a good thing as this is not a structure that you want to mess around on – the approach is steep and falling into the water here would be a very, very bad thing. There’s a fence and warning signs for a good reason.
The Glen Miller Generating Station is a 2-unit “run-of-the-river” hydroelectric generating facility with a nameplate capacity of 8 MW built at Sonoco’s Mill Dam on the Trent River, 1.6 kilometres north of Trenton, Ontario.
The old powerhouse consisted of four generating units and obsolete equipment with a total installed capacity of 1 MW and a combined discharge of 30 cubic metres per second was totally dismantled in February 2004 to allow for the construction of the new facility.
The new facility consists of two high efficiency “Ecobulb” Kaplan turbine/generators. The existing dam has been refurbished to correspond with the raise in the operating level of the head pond by 1.6 metres to a final rated head of 6.1 metres. The total discharge of new plant has been increased to 142 cubic metres per second.
For your own safety near a hydroelectric dam or station, make sure that you:
- Obey all warning signs, fences, buoys, booms and barriers. They are put there to protect you. The areas inside are dangerous, stay clear of them.
- Stay a safe distance outside of warning signs, buoys, booms and barriers when fishing, boating or swimming.
- Stay well back from the edge of waters above and below hydroelectric dams and stations.
- Never stand below a dam, or anchor or tie your boat there. Rapidly changing water levels and flows can take you by surprise and could swamp your boat or put you in the grip of an undertow.