Why can’t we generate energy?

Energy has sparked many conversations of late as the price of automobile fuel and natural gas have kept rising.
Here in Fort Frances, energy—and the ability to transform hog fuel into steam and electricity—will be the determining factor in the future of the paper mill in our community.
An article in Monday’s Toronto Star quoted unnamed sources that the government of Newfoundland and Labrador was looking to bring power to energy-hungry southern Ontario from the Churchill Falls project.
That means transporting the energy clear across the province of Quebec. That’s a long way to bring power to Ontario.
Earlier this month, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) began boring a 10.4-km tunnel under the city of Niagara Falls that will provide enough electricity to supply 160,000 homes.
The addition of power from the river is a major achievement.
When we look at the dam at Fort Frances with its generating capacity, one must wonder if today’s technology could squeeze more energy from the water that passes through it.
Over the past several years, OPG has identified several small rivers in the region as potential sites for small hydro generation. A hydro generation station once was proposed for Namakan Lake as part of the agreement the province made with Backus to establish the paper mill in Fort Frances.
Although the dam was built, it never appeared feasible to transmit power to the grid. Is there an opportunity for electricity from Namakan?
If we look at many of the native communities that are spread across Northwestern Ontario, it becomes obvious that many could have small hydro projects built in close proximity that would make them self-sufficient for energy.
The projects could be hydro, biomass, or wind.
Daily, sections of windmill towers and blades cross into Canada at the international bridge here. Some will be transported all the way to the Gaspé in Quebec while others are destined for north of Superior.
Wind farms will, in the future, be providing more of our electrical energy needs.
An area was identified on the east shore of Lake of the Woods as a potential area to put up windmills and harvest some of the energy that sweeps across the lake.
If it’s feasible to transport energy across an entire province, can it be feasible to transform our biomass and water into energy to deliver it to the population centres of southern Ontario?

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