Premiere-Chute Power Station
The Premiere-Chute hydroelectric power station is located north of the municipality of Notre-Dame-du-Nord, in Abitibi-Temiscamingue.
One of five hydroelectric stations on the upper Ottawa River, Première-Chute is the only one open to visitors in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
It has a unique design, with two gravity dams and gates that swing up and down to let the water through or hold it back. Première-Chute (commissioned in 1968) and its sister plant, Rapides-des-Iles, bear witness to Hydro-Québec’s skyrocketing growth in the 1960s.
It was at Premiere-Chute, generating station that a number of now-standard construction techniques such ad diaphragm walls were first used in North Americas.
The power produced by the power station is roughly equivalent to the consumption of a city of Rouyn-Noranda.
The four rotors at Premiere-Chute weigh as much as 25 elephants, or 123 tonnes. Free guided tours last for 90 minutes. Visitors aged 18 years and over must present identification (health insurance card, driver's licence or passport) before they can tour the facility.
Address of the Premiere-Chutes hydroelectric power station:
Chemin Hydro-Quebec, Notre-Dame-du-Nord
Phone: 819-949-4431 (in season), 819-764-5124, post 4039 (off season)
Premiere-Chute power station Website: www.hydroquebec.com/visit/abitibi/chute.htm