In 1825, the current location of the hydro generation dam in Renfrew was identified as a prime source of water power. Since then, businesses and organizations have worked to harness the power of the Bonnechere River in a variety of methods. The water has been used to turn millstones, machinery, turbines and shuttle logs from Algonquin Park down to the Ottawa River.
1853 saw the start of the industrial development of the lands around the waterfalls described as "Rose Tree Falls". The McDougall Mill was built around this time and remains standing today. These businesses relied heavily on the Bonnechere River for their power.
In 1901, the Renfrew Power Company issued a contract for construction of a dam and generator house. This original building is still generating power today.
In 1916 due to the war time power shortage the Golden Lake Dam was built and guards were stationed at the power plants on the river. With the lack of power in Renfrew M. J. O`Brien took matters into his own hands and his Generating Plant, in Calabogie, was developed and supplied to Renfrew.
1938 called for the lower dam to be renewed. The penstock and dam were rebuilt.
In November 2000, the responsibility for the distribution of electricity to Renfrew residents and businesses was granted to Renfrew Hydro Inc. and the responsibility for power generation to Renfrew Power Generation Incorporated .
Renfrew Power Generation Inc. is a for profit business.
The Town of Renfrew is the registered owner of all the issued and outstanding shares of the Corporation. RPG is managed by a Board of Directors. Renfrew Hydro Inc. (RHI) is an affiliate company in having a common shareholder.
RPG will be solely responsible for the development and operation of the proposed electricity generation project.