I am writing this letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty to persuade him to stop the irrational plan to shut down Atikokan’s thermal generating station.
My husband and I were in the Toronto area during the last week of July. While we were there, we noticed televised appeals to the public to decrease their use of electricity. The hot weather was causing people to rely more on their air conditioning.
This is evidence that Ontario does not have sufficient power generation capacity to meet the growing need for electricity.
We worked at the generating station during the construction phase, and we know that it was designed for two units. At present, only one exists, but the site preparation already has been done for the second unit.
My husband, who has been the station manager for the past four years, is well informed as to the efficiency of this plant compared to others in the grid. This is the newest plant, the cleanest plant, and the most cost-effective plant.
In all the years that the plant has been operating, we have never had to declare a “smog day,” nor have we ever contributed to the smog in the Toronto area (or any other area for that matter).
The small percentage of emissions that are produced from this station can be further reduced by the installation of scrubbers. Surely this is much more cost-effective than shutting down an entire plant and throwing the workers out of their jobs!
We believe passionately in clean air! We enjoy it every day of our lives in the northwestern part of this province.
Rather than close this plant, or convert the entire station to peat, I urge you to expand this plant by building the second unit and fuelling that second unit with peat. Leave the first unit on the low sulfur lignite coal that it already uses.
Make this a test case and, if successful, a prototype that can be marketed around the world. If the peat unit is not efficient, convert it to coal and continue operating. We have many years of life left in this plant!
It is evident, Mr. McGuinty, that your decision to close coal-fired plants is purely political rather than rational or scientific. Shutting this plant will kill this town, and the mining and logging industry in the northwest.
Please, Mr. McGuinty, be a statesman rather than a politician. I urge you to announce quickly that the Atikokan generating station will not close, but rather it will be expanded to meet the growing need for electrical power in this province.
A quick announcement is needed in order to stop the hemorrhage of people and businesses from our beautiful little town. Please don’t let us down!
BA, BEd, MEd