McGuinty Government Unveils Bold Plan To Clean Up Ontario's Air

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Unveils Bold Plan To Clean Up Ontario's Air

Ministry of Energy

Replacing Coal-Fired Generation Means Cleaner Air And Better Health For Ontarians TORONTO, June 15 - The McGuinty government's aggressive plan to replace coal-fired generation with cleaner sources of energy and conservation will clean up our air, improve the health of our citizens, and contribute to the sustainability of our environment while ensuring a reliable supply of electricity, Energy Minister Dwight Duncan said today. "We are leading the way as the first jurisdiction in North America to put the environment and health of our citizens first by saying 'no' to coal," Duncan said. "And as we have said all along, maintaining reliability is the first principle of our plan. It's a prudent and responsible path that will ensure cleaner air for the province." "Our government's plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by up to 30 megatonnes a year - which is equivalent to taking almost seven million cars off the road or removing every car and small truck in Ontario," said Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. "The closure of Ontario's coal- fired generating stations is expected to provide up to half of the province's greenhouse-gas-reduction contributions under the Kyoto Protocol." The first of the five coal-fired plants, Lakeview Generating Station (GS), was officially closed in April. The plan released today will see three out of the four remaining coal-fired generating stations close by the end of 2007, with the remaining station, Nanticoke GS, to close in early 2009. Under the coal replacement plan: - Lakeview GS, representing 1,140 megawatts of generating capacity, was closed in April 2005, following completion of projects to strengthen the transmission system in the Toronto area. - Thunder Bay GS, representing 310 megawatts, will be replaced by gas- fired generation in 2007. - Atikokan GS, representing 215 megawatts, will close by the end of 2007, following the replacement of Thunder Bay units and necessary transmission upgrades, with no direct replacement necessary. - Lambton GS, representing 1,975 megawatts, will be replaced by the end of 2007 by two combined-cycle gas-fired generating stations in the Sarnia area announced as a result of the government's request for proposals for clean energy capacity. - Nanticoke GS, representing 3,938 megawatts, will have units closed through 2008 with the last unit to close in early 2009. In addition to new generation capacity, transmission upgrades in southwestern Ontario are necessary for the closure of Nanticoke. To support the replacement of coal-fired generation in Ontario, the McGuinty government has put the wheels in motion to produce well-over 7,500 megawatts of cleaner, more diversified power. Between 2004 and 2007, Ontario will secure more new generating capacity than any other jurisdiction in all of North America. The government is also currently reviewing a tentative deal with Bruce Power for the refurbishment of two laid-up nuclear reactors, which together represent more than 1,500 megawatts of additional capacity. If concluded, this agreement would raise the total of McGuinty government initiatives to 9,145 megawatts. A cost benefit analysis released in April uncovered massive health and environmental costs from coal-fired generation. The study found emissions from all coal-fired stations were responsible for up to 668 premature deaths, 928 hospital admissions and 1,100 emergency room visits in Ontario per year. It also found that with an annual cost of $4.4 billion, coal-fired generation is significantly more expensive than other sources of electricity. The plan is receiving praise from environment and healthcare experts and regulatory agencies in charge of the reliability of Ontario's electricity system. "Premier McGuinty's coal replacement plan makes good sense to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance," said Jack Gibbons, Chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. "While there is a delay for the complete phase-out of coal relative to the original forecast, we believe it is worth taking the extra time necessary to do the job right and ensure an orderly and sustained shutdown. The benefits for all Ontarians will be enormous and long-lasting." "The McGuinty government's plan means a significant reduction in harmful airborne emissions, which will mean fewer cases of childhood asthma and better health for Ontarians," said Dr. Anna Day, a respirologist at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. "The phase out of coal represents one of the most significant undertakings in the history of Ontario's electricity sector," said Dave Goulding, President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). "The implementation of the government's plan to stop burning coal in 2009 recognizes the need to maintain reliability as coal-fired generation is phased out in favour of cleaner generating sources. The IESO is committed to working with the provincial government and others to ensure that reliability is not compromised during this transition period." In order to ensure system reliability and to support the coal replacement strategy, Minister Duncan has directed the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to launch new procurement processes for additional power in the downtown Toronto core and west GTA, new demand-side management and demand response initiatives, and industrial co-generation and district energy projects across the province. The OPA will release further details on these processes, which will be launched by the fall of 2005. The government has also directed the OPA to begin discussions with the owners of seven underutilized electricity generators, sometimes referred to as "early movers", to increase the operation of the facilities at a reasonable cost to Ontario consumers. In creating new capacity, the government has placed particular emphasis on expanding renewable generation in the province, and is well on its way to meeting its target of adding five per cent, or 1,350 megawatts of new renewable generating capacity by 2007. By the end of 2007, it is expected Ontario will see a 75-fold increase in its wind capacity alone. The Ministry of Energy is working together with Ontario Power Generation and a number of ministries, including Northern Development and Mines, Natural Resources, Economic Development and Trade, and Municipal Affairs and Housing, to assess the impact of closures on the workers and their communities. The government is asking Ontario Power Generation to engage its trade unions in discussions designed to minimize the impact of plant closures on employees. "We are replacing coal in Ontario for good - for the good of our air, for the good of our health, and for the good of Ontario families," Duncan said. To view coal replacement graphic, please visit: http://files.newswire.ca/415/coalreplacement.pdf Disponible en français. www.energy.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- McGUINTY GOVERNMENT COAL REPLACEMENT STRATEGY In developing its plans to replace coal-fired generation, the McGuinty government formed a committee of experts, including representatives from the Independent Electricity System Operator, Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Part of the mandate of the committee was to ensure that the coal replacement plan would be responsible and would not jeopardize the reliability of Ontario's electricity system. The government's plan to replace coal-fired generation will not require an increase in imported electricity from other jurisdictions. The plan will ensure Ontario continues to have a safe reserve margin. In order to further ensure reliability of supply as demand increases, and to address a pressing need for new generation or conservation projects in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Energy Minister Dwight Duncan directed the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to launch procurement processes for 500 megawatts of new power in the downtown Toronto core, up to 1,000 megawatts of power in the west GTA, 250 megawatts or more of demand-side management and demand response initiatives across the province with an emphasis on the GTA, and up to 1,000 megawatts of industrial co-generation and district energy projects across the province. The OPA will release further details on these processes, which will be launched by the fall of 2005. The McGuinty government has also directed the OPA to begin discussions with seven underutilized electricity generators, sometimes referred to as "early movers", to increase the operation of the facilities at a reasonable cost to Ontario consumers in order to support the coal replacement strategy. Including today's initiatives, the McGuinty government has put the wheels in motion to produce well over 7,500 megawatts of diversified generating capacity to support the replacement of coal-fired generation. In fact, between 2004 and 2007, Ontario will secure more new generating capacity than any other jurisdiction in all of North America. This includes: - Pickering A Unit 1 Return to Service - 515 megawatts - Clean Energy Supply and Demand Side Projects - 2,235 megawatts - Niagara Tunnel - 200 megawatts - Renewables 1 RFP - 395 megawatts - Renewables 2 RFP - 1,000 megawatts - Renewables 3 RFP - 200 megawatts - Replacement of Thunder Bay Generating Station with Gas-Fired Generation - 310 megawatts - Co-generation - 1,000 megawatts - Downtown Toronto - 500 megawatts - West GTA - 1,000 megawatts - Demand-Side Management and Demand-Response - 250 megawatts The government is also currently reviewing a tentative deal with Bruce Power for the refurbishment of two laid-up nuclear reactors, which together represent more than 1,500 megawatts of additional capacity. If concluded, this agreement would raise the total of McGuinty government initiatives to 9,145 megawatts. The government has placed particular emphasis on expanding renewable generation, and is well on its way to meeting its target of adding five per cent, or 1,350 megawatts of new renewable generating capacity by 2007. By the end of 2007, it is expected Ontario will see a 75-fold increase in its wind capacity alone. Key Facts - A cost-benefit analysis released in April uncovered massive health and environmental costs from coal-fired generation. The study found emissions from all coal-fired stations were responsible for up to 668 premature deaths, 928 hospital admissions and 1,100 emergency room visits in Ontario per year. - The cost-benefit analysis also pegged the annual costs of coal-fired generation, including health and environmental costs, at $4.4 billion - significantly higher than other electricity generation options. - Ontario's coal-fired plants are the largest industrial source of greenhouse gas emissions in the province, and one of the largest emitters of smog-causing pollutants. - In 2003, Ontario's five coal plants emitted 37,000 tonnes of oxides of nitrogen and 154,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide, both of which are directly related to smog. This accounts for 14 per cent of all oxides of nitrogen and 28 per cent of all sulphur dioxide produced in Ontario. In addition, in 2003, total emissions of mercury from coal plants was 495 kg, or 20 per cent of all mercury produced in Ontario. - A combined-cycle gas-fired plant has no sulphur dioxide or mercury emissions. In addition, when compared with emissions from existing coal-fired plants, combined-cycle plants have about 80 to 90 per cent lower oxides of nitrogen and particulate emissions, and about 60 per cent lower carbon dioxide emissions, which are a major contributor to global climate change. - According to the World Wildlife Fund, coal-fired generation is the largest industrial contributor in the world to global climate change. - The McGuinty government's plan to replace coal could eliminate up to 30 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions - equivalent to taking 6.9 million cars off the road - or almost every single passenger vehicle and small truck in Ontario. Thirty megatonnes a year is more than all the greenhouse gases produced by either Manitoba or New Brunswick. - Ontario's plan to close its coal plants is the largest single step being undertaken to help Canada meet its Kyoto targets. The closure of Ontario's coal-fired generating stations is expected to provide up to half of the province's greenhouse-gas-reduction contributions under the Kyoto Protocol. - Lakeview Generating Station, the single biggest source of air pollution in the GTA, was closed by the McGuinty government in April 2005. Closing Lakeview eliminated emissions equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off Ontario roads. Ontario's Coal Plants THUNDER BAY GENERATING STATION ------------------------------------------------------------------------- The two units at Thunder Bay GS will be replaced by gas-fired generation in 2007. Thunder Bay GS Quick Facts Location: Thunder Bay Capacity: 310 MW (two units of 155 MW each) Annual Emissions (2003): 8.885 Kilotonnes (Kt) SO2, 1.972 Kt NOX, 1.581 Mt CO2 ATIKOKAN GENERATING STATION ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Atikokan GS will close by the end of 2007. Closure date is driven by the replacement of Thunder Bay units and necessary transmission upgrades. No replacement capacity is required due to load profile of the Northwest. Atikokan GS Quick Facts Location: Town of Atikokan, between Thunder Bay and Kenora. Capacity: 215 MW (1 unit) Annual emissions (2003): 6.446 Kt SO2, 1.217 Kt NOX, 0.996 Megatonnes CO2 LAMBTON GENERATING STATION ------------------------------------------------------------------------- The four units at Lambton GS will close by the end of 2007. Replacement capacity will be provided by two successful projects in the Sarnia area resulting from the government's request for clean energy capacity. The two projects are the Greenfield Energy Centre (a partnership between Calpine and Mitsui), and St. Clair Power (a partnership between Invenergy and Stark Investments). Lambton GS Quick Facts Location: Corunna, South of Sarnia Capacity: 1,975 MW (four units of approximately 500 MW each) Annual emissions (2003): 36.887 Kt SO2, 7.149 Kt NOX, 9.499 Mt CO2 NANTICOKE GENERATING STATION ------------------------------------------------------------------------- The eight units at Nanticoke GS will close through 2008 - with the last unit to close in early 2009. Nanticoke plays a unique role within the transmission system. Transmission upgrades and replacement generation are equally necessary for closure of Nanticoke. To accommodate the closing of Nanticoke, transmission in southwestern Ontario will be upgraded and completed by early 2009. The government has put the wheels in motion on over 5,000 megawatts of diversified generating capacity that will support the closure of Nanticoke. Initiatives include: industrial co-generation, new generation in downtown Toronto, new demand management and demand response initiatives, new generation in the west GTA, the Niagara Tunnel project, the refurbishment of Pickering A unit 1 and RFPs for 1,595 megawatts of renewable energy. The government is also currently reviewing a tentative deal with Bruce Power for the refurbishment of two laid up nuclear reactors, which together represent more than 1,500 megawatts of additional capacity. Nanticoke Quick Facts Location: Haldimand County, near Port Dover Capacity: 3,938 MW (eight units of approximately 500 MW each) Annual Emissions (2003): 83.969 Kt SO2, 23.051 Kt NOX, 19.737 Mt CO2 Disponible en français. www.energy.gov.on.caFor further information: Angie Robson, Minister's Office, (416) 327-6747; Ted Gruetzner, Communications Branch, (416) 327-4334