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Creating Cleaner Air in Ontario

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Creating Cleaner Air in Ontario

Province on Track to Eliminate Coal-Fired Generation

Ontario is one step closer to being the first jurisdiction in North America to eliminate coal as a source of electricity.

Today, the province marked the end of burning coal at the Lambton Generating Station. This leaves Nanticoke Generating Station as the last operating coal-fired facility in Southern Ontario, which is slated to stop burning coal at the end of 2013.

Ontario has committed to end coal generation by the end of 2014. Closing these plants one year ahead of schedule will save ratepayers $95 million from reduced maintenance and project costs. A coal-free energy mix will also lead to a significant reduction in harmful emissions, cleaner air and a healthier environment.

Eliminating coal-fired generation and protecting the environment while providing clean, reliable and affordable power is part of the government's plan to invest in people, build strong infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate across Ontario.  

Quick Facts

  • The closure of the Lambton and Nanticoke coal plants comes as Ontario moves toward implementing a smarter electricity grid, increasing efficiencies within the electricity system, introducing strong conservation efforts and committing to cleaner energy sources.
  • Replacing coal with cleaner generation, renewables and conservation will help ease strain on the health care system by eliminating up to 30 megatonnes of emissions that contribute to illness and premature death.
  • According to a 2005 independent study, "Cost Benefit Analysis: Replacing Ontario's Coal-Fired Electricity Generation," the cost of coal generation was approximately $4.4 billion annually when health, environmental, and financial costs were taken into consideration.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has cut its use of coal by nearly 90 per cent.
  • By the end of 2013, Ontario will have shut down 17 of 19 coal-fired units and all of them will be shut down by the end of 2014.

Additional Resources


“Ontario is committed to building a clean, modern reliable electricity system to replace dirty coal fired generation. Getting off coal is the single largest climate change initiative being undertaken in North America, equivalent to taking up to seven million cars off the road. This initiative will leave a healthier environment, cleaner air for our children and grandchildren.”

Bob Chiarelli

Minister of Energy

“Eliminating coal generation is helping keep Ontarians healthy and also lessening the impact on our health care system. Thanks to our collective efforts to eliminate coal we have prevented premature deaths, avoided unnecessary hospital admissions, and saved precious health care dollars that can be re-invested elsewhere to benefit patients.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

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