As Canada transitioned from a developing country into a developed country, Manitoba’s energy sector supported the pace of development through its innovations and installations. By developing its hydro potential among its many rivers, Manitoba powered its economic growth through street and structure lighting and through urban transportation such as electric railway in the City of Winnipeg. Rural and farm electrification programs drove economic productivity all over the province.
As its electricity system grew in scope and complexity, Manitoba’s leaders also advanced and consolidated its structure into the single world class utility it is today, with highly skilled and sought-after expertise in its consulting and educational sectors.
With its great hydro potential far in the north and its main population in the deep south, Manitoba developed its global expertise in high voltage transmission, and, along with its experience in generation, distribution, and organizational development, began exporting this expertise around world.
|1873||WINNIPEG GAS COMPANY
was incorporated on March 8
to provide the City of Winnipeg
with gas lighting.
|March 12, 1873||THE FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHT WAS TURNED ON IN WINNIPEG|
|1880||MANITOBA ELECTRIC & GAS LIGHT COMPANY was incorporated February 14 by an Act of the Manitoba legislature. The company was granted wide powers to “supply light and heat in Manitoba by gas, electricity or other means”.|
|1881||WINNIPEG GAS COMPANY and Manitoba Electric & Gas Light Company merged.|
|1882||WINNIPEG STREET RAILWAY COMPANY was incorporated|
|1905-1906||The construction of Pinawa Generating Station on the Winnipeg River between 1902 and 1906 was a bold move, requiring both imagination and courage on the part of the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company (WERCo.). Pinawa was built at a time when nobody knew whether or not the Winnipeg River was suitable for hydroelectric development. The capacity of the plant was developed and increased to a standard of 22,371 kW. Occasionally, peaks of 27,964 kW were reached.|
|1906||THE CITY OF WINNIPEG HYDRO ELECTRIC SYSTEM (City Hydro) was formed as a publicly owned utility|
|1919||Manitoba Power Commission came into existence with the passage of an Electric Power Transmission Act of the Manitoba legislature. MPC’s legislated mandate was “to generate, purchase, transmit, and distribute electrical energy” throughout rural Manitoba|
|1939||By 1939, MPC was supplying electricity to 139 communities outside of the City of Winnipeg.|
|1939||FIRST EXPORT OF POWER TO THE U.S.
from Manitoba occurred when the Dominion Government issued MPC a licence to export a limited amount of power to Interstate Power Company, which served North Dakota and Minnesota. The MPC interconnecting transmission line extended 0.8 km from Gretna to the international boundary.
|1949||MANITOBA HYDROELECTRIC BOARD DEVELOPMENT ACT was passed.|
|1954||FARM ELECTRIFICATION MILESTONE was reached on October 22 when MPC connected its 100,000th customer. By this date, the Farm Electrification program was virtually completed, with about 75 per cent of all farms in Manitoba having electrical service.|
|1956||FIRST INTERCONNECTING TRANSMISSION LINE went into service October 25 between Manitoba and Ontario for the exchange of power|
|1961||FORMATION OF MANITOBA HYDRO took place when the Government of Manitoba united the two provincial utilities, MHEB and MPC, through the enactment of the Manitoba Hydro Act, which was passed by the Manitoba legislature, effective April 1. This brought the organization of electrical utilities in the province to its present state — Manitoba Hydro being responsible for providing electrical service throughout Manitoba, except for the central portion of the City of Winnipeg, which is serviced by Winnipeg Hydro.|
|1964||MANITOBA HYDRO AND THE MID-CONTINENT AREA POWER PLANNERS (MAPP) signed a memo of understanding for possible interconnecting transmission lines to carry large-scale exchanges of power to U.S. utilities. At this time, MAPP consisted of 22 public and investor owned electrical utilities operating in the central and northcentral states.|
|1966||Teshmont Consultants formed when Templeton, Shawinigan, and Montreal Engineering pooled their expertise to form a company specifically for Bipole I of the Nelson River Transmission System, which transmits power from the Nelson River in northern Manitoba to the load center in Winnipeg, some 900 km away.|
|1971||THE NELSON RIVER HIGH V O L TA G E DIRECT CURRENT LINE was first energized. The HVDC transmission line carrying power from the generating stations built on the Nelson River was constructed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited under the federal-provincial agreement of 1966. Known as Bipole 1, the transmission line began carrying power in June 1972. Bipole 1 now operates at 900 kV (±450 kV nominal). The Bipole 2 line was built later, in 1978.|
|1984||HIGH VOLTAGE DIRECT CURRENT REACHED A MILESTONE when the first successful addition of solid state equipment at Henday and Dorsey converter stations was achieved. It enabled Manitoba Hydro’s HVDC system to bring an additional 450 MW of power from generating stations located on the Nelson River to southern Manitoba.|
|1984||AUTOMATIC CONTROL WAS INSTALLED AT SYSTEM CONTROL CENTRE in Winnipeg. The AGC/SCADA computerbased control system was installed in the centre to provide automatic generation control (AGC), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) functions. The operators monitor Manitoba Hydro’s generating stations, transmission lines, and exports to neighbouring utilities using the AGC and SCADA systems, which can automatically adjust the generation of electricity to meet customers’ needs.|
|1985||MANITOBA HYDRO CREATED AN EXPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT with the intention
of exporting Manitoba Hydro’s expertise to other utilities and organizations, specifically in developing countries. Through the skills of its own employees, Manitoba Hydro can offer knowledge at every level of power system development.
|1988||MANITOBA HYDRO’S LINE AND POLE CREWS HEADED TO JAMAICA AFTER HURRICANE HIT THE ISLAND. In October and November, Manitoba Hydro and other Canadian, British, and U.S. electrical utilities sent manpower and equipment to Jamaica in order to assist in restoring the island’s electrical distribution system — much of it destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in September.|
|1994||FIRST EVER SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORT PUBLISHED byManitoba Hydro, which guides the utility’s commitment to addressing environmental issues. The report provided a comprehensive and detailed examination of the activities and events that shaped the utility’s sustainable development practices in 1993.|
|1995||NET RECORD EXPORT SALES, achieved for the third year in a row, boosted Manitoba Hydro’s revenues. For the fiscal year of 1995-96, sales reached $253.1 million, which was 26.8 per cent of the total revenues.|
|1999||MANITOBA HYDRO SIGNED LETTER OF INTENT WITH WESTCOAST ENERGY INC. OF VANCOUVER to acquire Centra Gas Manitoba Inc.|
|2002||MANITOBA HYDRO PURCHASED WINNIPEG HYDRO from the City of Winnipeg.|
|2001||Manitoba Hydro International wins 3-year Revenue Cycle Management Contract for the National Electric Power Authority Company of Nigeria (NEPA) with Tetra Tech (formerly Wardrop Engineering Inc.).|
|2002||April: First Meeting of Manitoba-based companies with expertise in the Energy sector to consider pooling expertise for international energy projects|
|2005||MANITOBA’S FIRST WIND TURBINE, standing nearly 80 metres tall, was erected in April in St. Leon as part of AirSource Power’s wind energy project.|
|2002||First ESAM mission to the World Bank in Washington, D.C.|
|2008||Incorporation of the Energy Services Alliance of Manitoba Inc.|
|2009||W.I.R.E. Services, Manitoba Hydro Telecom, and the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre were amalgamated with Manitoba Hydro International Ltd (MHI). Combining the service offerings under one umbrella positions the company for growth by allowing for an expanded and seamless combination of capabilities.|
|2012||ESAM celebrates 10 years of international energy development with a showcase of energy projects around the world developed by members.|