A New Era of Cleaner Air in Ontario
September 10, 2014 – Atikokan Generating Station Operational with Biomass Fuel
Ontario is now home to North America’s largest power plant fuelled completely by biomass. The Atikokan Generating Station conversion is complete and the station is now generating electricity and helping meet local power needs in northwestern Ontario.
Atikokan Generating Station, which employs 70 full-time workers, burned its last coal, two years ago, on Sept. 11, 2012. Conversion of the station began in mid-2012 and included construction of two silos and boiler modifications to accommodate the biomass. The project employed over 200 highly skilled trades people and technical workers.
A coal-free energy mix will lead to a significant reduction in harmful emissions, cleaner air and a healthier environment.
The biomass used to fuel Atikokan Generating Station is being harvested and processed in Ontario. Domestic suppliers have leveraged this opportunity to secure contracts to provide pellets to international buyers.
Providing clean, reliable and affordable power is part of the government’s plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate across Ontario.
• Biomass is a sustainable fuel recognized across the world as a contributor to greenhouse gas reductions.
• Atikokan Generating Station will provide renewable peaking power, and can be turned on when electricity demands are highest.
• OPG has contracts in place with two companies in northwestern Ontario to supply the wood pellets. Rentech Inc. and Resolute Forest Products Canada will each supply 45,000 tonnes of wood pellets annually.
• The closure of Ontario’s coal plants comes as the province moves toward implementing a smarter electricity grid, increasing efficiencies within the electricity system, introducing strong conservation efforts and committing to cleaner energy sources.
• Replacing coal-fired electricity generation is the single largest climate change initiative being undertaken in North America and when fully eliminated will be equivalent to taking up to seven million cars off the road. LEARN MORE • The financial, environmental and health impacts of dirty coal.