What would a trip to the Taiga be without mention of the hydro dams? This entire trip wouldn’t be possible without them. Both the James Bay Road and the Trans-Taiga were built specifically to facilitate the hydro projects. In fact, the Trans-Taiga was only built shortly before I was born. In the world of Canadian roads, it’s quite young.
The entire project goes inland, to the Caniapiscau reservoir at the end of the road. More than 600km away. From the very top of the watershed, the water feeds down to James Bay, through 8+ generation stations, ending on the La Grande River, at this dam. There are several reservoirs along the way.
This dam alone has a max capacity of 1300+ mega watts…close to the output of 2 nuclear reactors. The entire complex, from beginning to end has a capacity of 16,000 MW, which is more than several nuclear power plants could produce. It did have an incredible cost to install, and it did affect the natives living in the area(more on that to come)
There is something powerful about driving through such vast areas of wilderness…areas that are hostile to most human life. And yet, the incredible amount of power that can be harnessed is amazing. Not many people would want to live here. The trees are scraggly, the land is useless for farming, the beauty that exists is stark. Yet, what amazing power has come from such a place! I find it amazing that when I was at La Grande 1, the spillway was almost quiet…the entire flow of this river was being run through the generators…being used to make electricity.
If you read Part 3 of the journey, you’ll know that I compared us to the Taiga. Worn out, and needing fire to burn away the ugly so that we could be made new. But it’s not just about growing new, healthy, good looking trees. Through the working of the Holy Spirit we can be like these dams. Working to create and power so much more.To bring the power of the river of life from the wilderness…to the everyday masses. It takes time to build these amazing structures, that divert and hold, to create power where it is needed…and so it can in our lives. Let us look forward to such powerful usage of the streams of life in us!