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Trading coal for biomass at Atikokan

Aug. 27, 2010 – Ontario is turning off coal and switching on biomass at the Atikokan Generating Station.


August 27, 2010
By Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Aug. 27, 2010 – Ontario is turning off coal and switching on biomass at the Atikokan
Generating Station, a move that supports jobs in the community and takes the
province a step closer to eliminating coal-fired electricity generation by the
end of 2014. The conversion will create up to 200 construction jobs, support an
estimated 20 to 25 jobs in Ontario related to the production of wood pellets,
and sustain other jobs in the forestry sector. The project is expected to take
up to three years to complete. Once converted, the plant is expected to
generate 150 million kWh of renewable power, enough to power 15,000 homes each
year.

"This
announcement is a major milestone for our Atikokan biomass project. Atikokan
can provide Ontario with a new source of renewable energy and northwestern
Ontario with economic benefits for years to come," says Frank Chiarotto,
 senior
vice president, thermal, Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

The
government of Ontario has directed the Ontario Power Authority to negotiate an
agreement to buy the biomass power generated at Atikokan from OPG, which is a
critical step in the process of converting the plant to biomass. The annual
fuel requirements for the plant, in the form of wood pellets, are estimated to
amount to less than 1% of the total allowable forest harvest in
Ontario each year. Atikokan is located approximately 200 km northwest of
Thunder Bay.


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