Hamilton within the last five years has solved a problem which has been of great interest and assistance to manufacturers, viz., the transmission of electricity for a great distance and at a high voltage for power purposes. When the question of utilizing the waters of DeCe Falls, coming over the Niagara escarpment at a point about 35 miles southeast of Hamilton was first mooted, it was considered to a great extent chimerical. However, this has now passed the experimental stage and evolved from a dream into a reality. About that time local capitalists interested themselves in the formation of a company for the generation of electrical energy to be transmitted to the City of Hamilton. Many prejudices had to be overcome and many seemingly insurmountable objects had to be brushed aside, and when it is taken into consideration that at that time neither in Europe or American had electricity been transmitted higher than 10,000 volts, this company found that it was absolutely necessary for the pressure tc be at least 20,000 volts or over, so that the cost of conducting the same would be within the financial set, to allow the Cataract Power Company to undertake the development of the enterprise, some of the difficulties can be imagined. After many experiments the work has been successful, and Hamilton is illuminated, the majority of her factories and her entire electrical railway system, both street and radial, amounting to about sixty-five miles of road, are operated by this silent but potent power, which has placed Hamilton in the position of being the electrical city of Canada.
The plant consists of six principal sections :
1. The hydraulic work beginning at the Welland Canal in Allanburg and terminating in the turbines in the generating station.
2. The generating system, consisting of the electrical generators mentioned in section No. 1, with the step up transformers and their accessories in the power house at DeCew Falls.
3. The transmission system, comprising two lines of poles running from the power house to the several sub-stations in the City of Hamilton and on the way thereto.
4. The sub-stations and their equipment in the City of Hamilton.
5. The distributing system in the City of Hamilton.
6. The traction department.
1. The hydraulic plant consists of certain controlling gate arrangements at Allanburg for discharging the waters of the old Welland Canal into the company’s power canal. The power canal has a length of about five miles, and is equipped with a measuring weight for the purpose of determining the amount of water the company received from the canal. with a flume for transporting the waters across the bed of the Beaver Dam Creek, and a system of three storage lakes containing an aggregate at present of about 75 acres. From the lower storage lake the water enters directly into steel penstocks running to the power house at the foot of the mountain, each penstock being approximately 1,000 feet long. The discharged water from the pow er house enters the 12-mile creek behind the power house and is returned to the old Welland Canal in the city of St. Catharines. The total effective head for power purposes is 267 feet.
2. The generating equipment at present consists of: Two 2,000 K. W. Royal electric generators and two 1,000 K. W. machines from the same makers. There are to be installed immediately two 6,300 H. P. turbines directly connected each to two 5.000 K. W. generators, and as soon as this pair of machines are installed there will be added two more, bringing up the total capacity of the station to 26,000 K. W. when the present plans are fully carried out. The turbines actuating these generators are of a capacity of 3.300 11. P. each for the larger machines, 1.600 H. P. for one of the smaller machines, and 1,750 for the second of the smaller machines. These generators are supplied with the usual appliances of exciters. switchboards and transformers for raising the voltage from 2,400, at which it is generated, to 22,500 at which potential it is placed upon the transmission lines.
3. The transmission lines are not noteworthy, having no novelties of design or construction over the ordinary transmission lines for this distance and potential. The older line Is insulated with porcelain insulators. whereas the new line is insulated with glass.
4. There are sub-stations distributed along these transmission lines at Beamsville, Grimsby, Imperial Cotton Company, near the Deering Harvester Company’s plant in Hamilton, and at the main sub-station at Victoria avenue and Shaw street in the City of Hamilton. The capacities of these sub-stations are respectively 75 K. W., 300 K. W., 575 K. W., 12.000 K. W., and 10,000 K. W. At the Victoria avenue substation in the City of Hamilton a large steam auxiliary plant is now completed and in operation.
5. The distribution system consists of the ordinary system of poles and wires for developing 2-phase current for power purposes and single phase for incandescent store, arc lighting and constant current series services for street lighting, of an aggregate capacity at present of some 10,000 or 12,000 H. P.
6. The railway system is made up of three roads : The Hamilton Street Railway system, being the local street road, consisting of about 22 miles of single track with about 80 cars, and its current is supplied from the Victoria avenue sub-station above mentioned. The Hamilton and Dundas Street Railway consists of about eight miles of single track. with terminal stations in Hamilton and Dundas. The Hamilton Radial Electric Railway consists of about 13 miles of single track.