Lambton Cty- huge solar, wind developments AND T.O.’s Gas plant?
Just wondering how many massive wind and solar developments are proposed for Toronto? How about GAS plants? Hmmmm. Well, apparently Lambton County may have to welcome all three, even if T.O. doesn’t want them. And a massive landfill dump or two too. Wonder why we aren’t too happy out here Dalton???
POWER GENERATION: The coal-fired station may be a candidate for natural gas after construction of a Toronto plant was stopped
By PAUL MORDEN, QMI Agency
SARNIA – The next 12 months could determine if Ontario’s coal-fired power plant near Sarnia has a future.
Ontario Power Generation’s Lambton station in Courtright is scheduled to close in 2014, as Ontario’s Liberal government makes good on its promise – delayed several times – to phase out production of electricity from coal-fired power plants.
But the idea of converting the facility to a cleaner-burning fuel hasn’t been ruled out.
“Ontario Power is investigating the conversion of its coal-fired unit to clean fuels, including natural gas and biomass,” said Paul Gerard, a spokesperson with Ontario’s Ministry of Energy.
“No decision has been made on conversion at the Lambton Generating Station.”
Union Gas was asked in 2011 to prepare plans for a potential natural gas pipeline to feed Lambton Generating Station.
“I really believe if we’re going to continue with Lambton Generating Station in either its present form or natural gas or bio-fuels, there’s going to have to be some decisions made within 2012,” said St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold.
Two of the four units at the station were shut down a year ago and about 100 employees left at that time. Another 300 workers continue to operate the two remaining coal-fired units.
The municipality would feel the biggest impact if the remaining jobs, and the property taxes the station pays, are lost in 2014.
The potential property tax impact equals millions of dollars, Arnold said. “That is at stake here in the municipality.”
Arnold said the township has teamed up with other municipalities facing the loss of coal plants to fight back against the way the Municipal Property Assessment Corp. has been devaluing the stations since the province announced they were to close.
“We’re really hoping we’ll see that put to bed in 2012,” he said.
He believes the station’s odds of remaining open past 2014 are good. Township officials continue to lobby the province and a recent change in direction for a natural gas-fired plant in the Toronto area, Arnold said, “makes Lambton Generating much more feasible . . . because we have everything already there.”
The Ontario’ government backed away from the Toronto-area plant following opposition from residents living nearby.
Arnold said existing rights-of-way could be used for upgraded transmission lines from the station in Courtright.
“If we get those in place, Lambton Generating becomes a viable option, in my humble opinion.”