The White River Hydro-power Project is a run-of-river hydro-power project located approximately 10 km southwest of the town of White River in Ontario, Canada. The Project includes two permanent water retention dams at each of the two separate generation sites which are both located on the White River, approximately 12 km from each other.
The available construction materials at the site presented specific challenges in the development of the design of the two dams. Due to the lack of low-permeability soils at the site, the dam designers considered the use of various alternative materials to provide water retention capabilities for the dams at the two sites. The use of steel sheet piling was originally selected. However, Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) sheet piling was subsequently adopted as an alternative following the completion of performance testing and engineering analyses.
The use of FRP sheet piling as the core of a hydropower dam is relatively unique. This paper focuses on the use of the sheet pile core in the dam design and includes a summary of the testing and analyses performed to evaluate the FRP sheet pile core material, a review of the methods adopted for construction, the lessons learned during the construction of the dams, and presents a summary of the instrumentation installed at both dams. This paper is intended to serve as a reference for those considering the use of FRP sheet piling in a similar application.