The Barrier Plant was TransAlta’s first hydro plant operated by remote control. It is one of three TransAlta hydro plants on the Kananaskis System, which is part of Alberta’s Bow River Electric System.

Built in 1947, the Barrier hydro plant created the Barrier Lake Reservoir. The reservoir has a relatively small storage capacity, so Barrier is considered a run-of-the-river plant. That means it generates electricity using the natural flow of river water.

Barrier generates an average of 40,000 megawatt hours each year.

TransAlta’s hydroelectric plants primarily provide electricity during periods of peak electrical demand and ensure system stability. Their operating flexibility means they can start quickly to introduce hydro power within minutes, balancing out shortages due to unexpected outages, or providing power at times of high demand.

Environmental Highlights

Protection of the environment is an important part of our hydro power business, as is responsible water use. We continually work with environmental and community groups to ensure habitats are protected, and that all users’ needs are heard.