AGS to make switch from coal to biomass

Press Release

Ontario is turning off coal and switching on biomass at the Atikokan Generation Station—a move that supports jobs in the community and takes the province another step closer to eliminating all coal-fired generation by the end of 2014.
The conversion will create up to 200 construction jobs and help protect jobs at the plant.
It also will support an estimated 20-25 jobs in Ontario related to the production of wood pellets, as well as sustain other jobs in the forestry sector.
The project, announced last week, is expected to take up to three years to complete.
Once converted, the plant is expected to generate 150 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power—enough to power 15,000 homes each year.
This initiative supports the province’s five-year “Open Ontario Plan” to create new opportunities for jobs and growth, as well as investing in infrastructure and clean energy.
“This signals a bright new future for our community,” said Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro.
“I’ve long been advocating for re-powering the Atikokan station to biomass because it makes sense for our economy and our environment.
“I am thrilled that jobs are staying here and jobs will be created in the region,” he added.
“The McGuinty government is building a strong, reliable, and clean energy system that Ontarians can count on to power their homes and businesses,” noted Energy minister Brad Duguid.
“We are planning for a coal-free future by converting Atikokan to biomass so that Northwestern Ontario will have a stable and clean supply of energy to fuel their economy,” he remarked.
“This is splendid news for Atikokan,” said mayor Dennis Brown. “We are very grateful to Bill Mauro . . . and the entire McGuinty government for this great announcement.
“It shows that they really care about Atikokan and Northwestern Ontario, and we thank them very much for this.”
“This announcement is a major milestone for our Atikokan biomass project,” said Frank Chiarotto, senior vice-president, Thermal, OPG.
“Atikokan can provide Ontario with a new source of renewable energy and Northwestern Ontario with economic benefits for years to come,” he noted.
“This is good news for OPG, Northwestern Ontario, and the province.”
Ontario last week directed the Ontario Power Authority to negotiate an agreement to buy the biomass power generated at Atikokan from Ontario Power Generation, the plant’s owner—a critical next step in the process of converting the plant to biomass.
The annual fuel requirements for the plant, made up of dried wood pellets, are estimated to amount to less than one percent of the total allowable forest harvest in Ontario each year.