Ontario One Step Closer to Eliminating Dirty Coal

Archived News Release

Ontario One Step Closer to Eliminating Dirty Coal

McGuinty Government Cleaning Up Air, Protecting Families' Health

Ministry of Energy

Ontario is taking the next step in eliminating coal-fired power generation. Yesterday, the Atikokan Generating Station burned its last piece of coal, helping ensure cleaner air and a healthier future for families.

Conversion of the Atikokan plant from coal to biomass is now underway. This project, the first of its kind in the province, will create 200 construction jobs and help protect existing jobs at the plant. The project will also create new economic opportunities for Ontario's forestry sector, which will provide the biomass fuel to the plant. The converted plant will be able to deliver more than 200 megawatts of clean, renewable power by the end of 2014.

Building a clean energy system that supports healthier families, a healthier environment and a healthier economy is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create and support jobs for Ontario families while ensuring we have the electricity we need to power our homes, schools, hospitals and our economy.

Quick Facts

  • The province has now shut down 11 of its 19 coal units and cut the use of coal by nearly 90 per cent since 2003.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has brought more than 10,000 megawatts of new and refurbished clean energy online - enough to power more than 2 million homes.
  • Eliminating coal-fired electricity in Ontario is the single largest greenhouse gas reduction measure in North America.
  • In 2011, more than 80 per cent of the power generated in Ontario came from clean energy sources of such as water, nuclear and renewables.
  • According to a 2008 study from the Canadian Medical Association, Ontario's economic cost related to air pollution, including lost productivity, health care costs, quality of life and loss of life, is almost $4 billion.

Quotes

“Today we are one step closer to eliminating the use of dirty coal while building a modern, reliable energy system that families and businesses know they can count on. By reducing harmful emissions we are ensuring a cleaner, healthier Ontario for current and future generations.”

Chris Bentley

Minister of Energy

Jim Bradley

“Ending coal-fired electricity generation in Ontario is the largest reduction of greenhouse gases in North America. It protects our health, fights climate change, and keeps Ontario on the green energy path.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Environment

Media Contacts

  • Beckie Codd-Downey

    Minister's Office

    beckie.codd-downey@ontario.ca

    416-325-2690

  • Andrea Arbuthnot

    Communications Branch

    andrea.arbuthnot@ontario.ca

    416-326-4542

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