Exploring the Decommissioned Lambton Generating Station – Now Demolished
In the summer of 2018 RiddimRyder and I set off for an epic mission to explore the decommissioned Lambton Generating Station
The hike into this decommissioned power plant was long and terrible but the fact that we were greeted by this beautiful coal excavator made us forget all that.
At the half way point of the hike in we entered a coal field where this monstrosity sat hulking over us.
This would be where the journey of coal begins its way into the plant, via a long conveyor, up a steep incline and into the plant.
The excavator made for a great spot to take a rest after a long and sweaty walk in. It also made for good cover to sit and await the eventual security patrol. Once we were rested, had taken a number of photos and were ready to proceed, we moved on from this beauty of machinery and started on for the next big challenge, to find our way up and in!
After finally making it up the incline of the conveyor and stopping to catch our breath RiddimRyder and I were finally inside this massive decommissioned power plant.
Two years earlier when we explored Nanticoke it was a much different experience as it was larger and more difficult to find our way into the main powerhouse floor.
Here it was much easier, the conveyor took us right up and into the building and right away we could see the lights of the main hall. However, getting there was a maze of industrial pipes and gears and switches and things I know nothing about!We would navigate the maze, silently and swiftly stopping every so often to take a photo but always staying within whispering distance of each other.
Finally, after walking across catwalks, up and down metal stairs we found out way to the fully lit power house floor!!!!
The exhaustion from the hike in and the walk up the incline of the conveyors had now been replaced by sheer adrenaline for RiddimRyder and I. We’re now on the floor of the powerhouse, which is fully lit and you can hear the hum of electricity everywhere.
The giant generators, covered yellow are a sight to behold, in October of 2010 Units 1 and 2 (or 4 total units) were shut down, leaving units 3 and 4 available to generate power. The powerhouse floor was full of turbines, parts and all kinds of other things that I know nothing about! It was clear that they had begun the process of dismantling of the generators and turbines. The parts were all very neatly organized on the floor, it was very interesting to get to see these pieces of machinery dismantled like this. I was also glad to see that some of the units were still in tact so I could get to see them both complete and dismantled.
When I explored Nanticoke 2 years earlier my biggest regret was not walking all the way to the middle of the crane over the turbine hall to get that money shot right down the middle. I let me nerves get the better of me there.
Not today though, I wasn’t leaving here with any regrets!
The Lambton Generating Station was a coal-fueled power plant located on the St. Clair River near Corunna, Ontario, delivering up to 950 MW of power to the grid. It is owned by Ontario Power Generation.
The plant previously had a total generating capacity of 1,976 MW, prior to the permanent shutdown of generating units 1 and 2 (of four) in October 2010.
The remaining units were shut down in September 2013.
The facility has three 168-metre (551 ft) smokestacks,one of which is equipped with flue-gas desulfurization units, commonly called “scrubbers”, to remove sulfur oxide.
Emissions from scrubbers at the Lambton station could be seen for over 16 km, although with the scrubbers operating properly, these plumes likely had over 90% less SO2 compared with other coal-fired stations without scrubbers.
OPG began the decommissioning in 2016 because it couldn’t get the green light from the province to re-outfit the coal facility with natural gas. The plant had been shuttered since 2013
On November 22, 2016, it was announced that Ontario Power Generation was no longer looking at alternative uses for Lambton Generating Station, and that the facility would be decommissioned in 2017.
Now, as of January 2020 the plant is in the midst of demolition
OPG intends “to leave the site in a clean and environmentally friendly state” that preserves the “park-like atmosphere” on the parkway next to the St. Clair River.