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Elora getting new power station

Shaman Power feeds power back into provincial grid

Work is underway near the historic site of the Little Folks toy factory in Elora on the Elora Generating Station Project.

It is on the south bank of the Grand River, adjacent to the Drimmie Dam, near Ross Street and Wellington Road 7. Ross Street is closed to all but local traffic as the project proceeds.

The renewable energy project is a collaboration between Pearle Hospitality and Shaman Power of Toronto. The one megawatt station is expected to generate an average of 3,800 megawatt hours of power annually.

Toronto-based Shaman Power develops and operates renewable energy electrical stations. It owns and operates them in other locales, including Marmora and Fenelon Falls.

Bob Allen, president of Shaman said Monday in an email that the small Elora station should be in service by late-summer of this year. The hydro-electric power it will generate is sold back into the provincial grid under a long-term contract with the province, he said.

Pearle Hospitality owns the land on which the generating station is being constructed. Pearle has major development plans for the property, and for the historic Elora Mill directly across the Grand River.

Those plans were delayed last year after citizens raised a number of heritage preservation issues surrounding the project. There are several heritage sites on the property.

Pearle Hospitality plans to transform the long-vacant site with a condominium development, a conference centre and banquet hall, as well as adding commercial space.

The company has carried out extensive renovations on Elora Mill, but it remains closed. The property has sat vacant for a number of years. Pearle’s plans were recently approved for tax incentives by Wellington County and the Township of Centre Wellington.

An existing hydroelectric station on the north bank of the river, also near Drimmie Dam, has been in operation for many years, providing power to the Elora Mill and other businesses in the town. It is scheduled to be removed.

Since the 1850s, water has powered mills and factories on the both sides of the river in Elora. The badly deteriorated over-110-year-old Drimmie Dam was reconstructed in 2014 after it began to fall apart.  The falls immediately below the dam are used for recreational purposes, particularly by white water kayakers and tubers.