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Biomass power generation at Atikokan a step closer to becoming reality


August 31, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Ontario is turning off coal and switching on biomass at the Atikokan Generation Station — a move that takes t…

Ontario is turning off coal and switching on biomass at the Atikokan Generation Station — a move that takes the province another step closer to eliminating all coal-fired generation by the end of 2014.
The government has directed the Ontario Power Authority to negotiate an agreement to buy the biomass power generated at Atikokan from Ontario Power Generation, the plant’s owner — this is a critical next step in the process of converting the plant to biomass.
“This announcement is a major milestone for our Atikokan biomass project,” says Frank Chiarotto, senior vice-president, thermal, OPG. “Atikokan can provide Ontario with a new source of renewable energy and Northwestern Ontario with economic benefits for years to come. This is good news for OPG, Northwestern Ontario and the province.”
The conversion will create up to 200 construction jobs and help protect jobs at the plant. It will also support an estimated 20 to 25 jobs related to the production of wood pellets and sustain other jobs in the forestry sector.
The project is expected to take up to three years to complete. Once converted, the plant is expected to generate 150 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power, enough to power 15,000 homes each year.
The annual fuel requirements for the plant, made up of dried wood pellets, are estimated to amount to less than 1% of the total allowable forest harvest in Ontario each year.
Atikokan is located approximately 200 km northwest of Thunder Bay.

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