The Ontario Power Authority has been directed to enter an agreement to purchase biomass power that will be produced at the Ontario Power Generation’s Atikokan station starting in 2012.

This development is part of the OPA’s 20-year plan that began in 2007, and proposed that the province phase-out coal-based electricity by 2014 and invest approximately $14.6 billion in renewable energy sources. Pursuant to Ontario Environmental Protection Act regulations made under the OPA plan, the Atikokan station is one of several coal facilities that will cease coal-fired steam electricity generation.

However, unlike the Lambton and Nanticoke stations that will be permanently decommissioned, OPG will convert the Atikokan station to use wood pellets as a biomass fuel source.

Frank Chiarotto, OPG’s Senior Vice-President (Thermal), acknowledged the benefit to the community by converting the Atikokan station, as opposed to shutting its doors.

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.