Ready to burn
September 9, 2014, Atikokan, Ont. – OPG Atikokan is ready to produce power for the grid in northwestern Ontario as the plant is now officially open for business.
By Andrew Macklin
September 9, 2014, Atikokan, Ont. – OPG Atikokan is ready to
produce power for the grid in northwestern Ontario as the plant is now
officially open for business.
The day before the official ribbon cutting at the $170
million coal-to-biomass conversion at Ontario Power Generation’s Atikokan
plant, delegates attending the annual Canadian Bioenergy Association (CanBio)
conference were given an up-close tour of the newly-renovated facility.
Approximately 40 delegates attended the tour including researchers,
engineers, pellet producers and other bioenergy professionals from across
Canada, the U.S. and Japan. The tour included a full facility tour, which
provided detailed information on the plant’s conversion from coal to biomass.
The conversion project is the first of
its kind in Ontario, creating the largest capacity 100% biomass fuelled power
plant in North America. The plant carries a 211MW maximum output. However, it
will be used as backup power to support the power grid in northwestern Ontario.
OPG Atikokan will receive 90,000 tonnes
of wood pellets for energy production. The contract is split evenly between the
Rentech plant in Atikokan and the Resolute plant in Thunder Bay. Neither plant
is operational as of yet, however, Rentech has supplied pellets for OPG
Atikokan through an agreement with KD Quality Pellets in New Liskeard. The
Rentech pellet plant is expected to be producing pellets by the end of October,
while the Resolute plant should be completed by the end of 2014.
The Ontario Minister of Energy, Bob
Chiarelli, will be on hand on Wednesday for the official opening of the OPG
Atikokan facility. He will then attend the CanBio conference on Thursday,
providing a keynote speech that will close the event.