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Moving Ontario From Dirty Coal To A Clean Energy Future

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Moving Ontario From Dirty Coal To A Clean Energy Future

McGuinty Government Permanently Shuts Down Four More Coal Units

Ontario families will breathe cleaner air after four additional dirty coal-fired units were permanently shut down, reducing smog-producing coal generating capacity by 40 per cent since 2003.

Today's closing of two of eight units at Nanticoke and two of four units at the Lambton plant are part of Ontario's plan to phase out dirty coal-fired generation by 2014 and replace it with wind, solar and other cleaner energy sources.

A coal-free Ontario will reduce air pollution and healthcare costs and is the single-largest effort to reduce climate change in Canada. Shutting down these four coal units is the equivalent of removing up to 2 million cars from Ontario's roads.

Ontario is well on track to replace dirty coal-fired generation by adding more than 8,000 megawatts of new cleaner energy since 2003 - enough to power cities the size of Ottawa and Toronto.

As part of the Open Ontario Plan, an update to Ontario's Long Term Energy Plan is being developed to ensure a strong, reliable, clean and cost-effective electricity system that eliminates reliance on dirty coal.

Quick Facts

  • Coal-fired generation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.
  • The volume of coal burned in an average year by these four coal units would fill the Rogers Centre in Toronto 1.4 times.
  • Ontario Power Generation is required to meet strict government-mandated greenhouse gas emission targets, including ensuring that 2011 emissions are two-thirds less than 2003 levels.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Ontario is moving from a past of dirty coal generation to a future of clean energy. Permanently shutting down these four coal units will help give our kids cleaner air to breathe and reduce healthcare costs. Creating a coal-free Ontario is part of our plan to build a modern, reliable electricity system for today and the future.”

Hon. Brad Duguid

Minister of Energy

“The early closure of these units will save ratepayers $200 million over the next four years as we move to a cleaner energy mix and reduce our carbon footprint. In addition to investment in clean hydro generation and planning for nuclear refurbishment and new nuclear we're making good progress on the conversion of our Atikokan plant to biomass. We are also assessing the potential for converting some of our Lambton and Nanticoke units to cleaner fuels as we believe making use of these valuable public assets is a cost-effective option to complement the province's growing solar and wind generation.”

Tom Mitchell

President and CEO, Ontario Power Generation

“Ontarians understand the urgent need for healthier air. As a health organization, we are encouraged by today's announcement and believe the closing of these additional four coal units will have a positive impact on our lung health. Ontario is on the right track.”

George Habib

President and CEO, Ontario Lung Association

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