Ontario utility OPG makes room for solar at demolished coal power plant

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Canada’s stated-owned electricity provider, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has completed the demolition of the former 3,964 MW coal power plant, Nanticoke Generation Station located in Nanticoke, which was decommissioned in 2013 and was the largest coal-fired power plant in North America.

OPG said the site is now being transformed into the Nanticoke Solar Project, a 44 MW solar plant currently being developed by the power utility and the Six Nations of the Grand River, which is Canada’s largest First Nations reserve.

Construction on the project is planned to start after the approval phase, with completion scheduled by the end of 2019.

“At its peak, Nanticoke Generating Station was one of the largest air polluters in North America. Ontario’s elimination of coal for electricity generation remains the single largest climate change initiative undertaken in North America and was the equivalent of taking up to seven million cars off of our roads,” said Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s Minister of Energy.

The project was selected by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in 2016. The company stressed the project is its fourth partnership with Ontario’s First Nations.

OGP currently covers around the half of Ontario’s electricity demand thanks to a power generation capacity of around 17 GW. Most of it comes from nuclear and hydroelectric plants, which account for 6.6 GW and 7.4 GW, respectively. The remaining share is represented by 2.4 GW of thermal power plants.