(ADPnews) - Sep 23, 2010 - A 230 MW coal-fired power plant in Ontario will be converted to biomass in a bid to support local jobs and push Canada's most populous province one step closer to scrapping all coal-fired generation by end-2014.
Electricity generation company Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the owner of the Atikokan Generating Station located in the eponymous town in northwestern Ontario, will use dried wood pellets to bang out an estimated 150 million kWh of renewable power annually, enough to power 15,000 homes. The output will be purchased by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).
The conversion project will be completed within three years, creating up to 200 construction jobs and a further 20 to 25 roles in wood pellet production.
The Atikokan project was built in 1985 at a cost of CAD 742 million (USD 721m/EUR 538m). Annual electricity production has been as high as 1.5 billion kWh, enough to supply about 125,000 households for a year.
In 2009, generation by Ontario's coal plants was at its lowest level in 45 years, and down more than 70% from 2003.