Sep. 9, 2009, Toronto - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is preparing to close four coal-fueled power units in 2010, four years ahead of the 2014 target. This milestone launches Ontario's 10 steps to transition the province to electricity generated from green energy.
OPG will close two of eight units at its Nanticoke station near Simcoe and two of four units at its Lambton plant near Sarnia by October 2010. Together, these plants represent about 2,000 MW of generation capacity. With the shutdown of Lakeview Generating Station in 2005, Ontario's in-service coal capacity will be reduced by 40% since 2003.
The announcement puts the province on track to be one of the first jurisdictions in the world to eliminate coal-fired electricity generation. Since 2003, more than 7,000 MW of new and refurbished generation have come online to ensure reliability, including over 3,700 MW of new natural gas fired plants and over 1,200 MW of renewable energy. It also advances the province's vision for the Green Energy Act of 2009.
OPG will continue to assess converting its remaining 11 units to other types of fuel such as biomass, a renewable fuel source that could not only provide Ontario with renewable energy, but could provide an alternate use for existing coal plants, as coal is phased out in the years ahead. Atikokan Generating Station will be OPG's initial focus for transition to biomass by the target year of 2012.
"Ontario is on the edge of creating one of the greenest and cleanest electricity profiles anywhere in the world. Delivering on the government's key commitment to eliminate coal, along with the Green Energy Act, will cement Ontario as a leader in renewable energy and conservation," said George Smitherman, deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure.
"OPG is committed to being one of North America's cleanest electricity generating companies. Phasing out coal generation will allow us to pursue exciting new generation opportunities such as biomass," said Tom Mitchell, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation.