ONTARIO – When the Liberals came to power in Ontario in 2003, one of the first things then-premier Dalton McGuinty promised to do was to ban the burning of coal for power generation by 2007. That deadline came and went, but last week the remaining station in Thunder Bay burned its last lump of coal.
Ten years ago when the closures were promised, 25% of Ontario’s electric power came from coal-fired power generators. Today it is zero, making the province the first jurisdiction in North America to end the burning of coal for power production.
Ontario Power Generation produced electricity from nuclear (49.0%), hydroelectric (30.6%) and thermal (4.1%) sources in 2012. Without coal, the old plants are being retrofitted to burn biomass. When the Atikokan generating station begins operating on biomass in the summer of 2014, it will be the largest, 100% biomass-fueled plant in North America.
Readers may visit the OPG website at OPG.com to learn more.