THUNDER BAY, ON --- Nov 15, 2013 --- “The announcement by the Ontario Government that they will operate half of the Thunder Bay
Generating Station for 5 years using advanced biomass is ‘half a loaf’ says the Common Voice
Northwest Energy Task Force.
“Like half a loaf of bread, Friday’s announcement provides some energy for the short term but is
not sustainable for the region over the long term” said Task Force Co-Chair, Iain Angus.
“In the short term, we get to keep the Thunder Bay Generating Station operating and retain the
existing staff” said Angus, “however, given that the Government has only decided to arrange for
15,000 tonnes of fuel (or enough for 2% of their capacity) it is clear that even as a peaking
facility the options for running will be quite few.”
“In the longer term, we still will not have the power we need, starting in 2016, to run the new
mines that we all want to be in production sooner rather than later” he said.
“Whether it is the projected
OPA loads or the Energy Task Force projections in times of drought, the Northwest will not have
enough energy to meet the needs of the new mines and mills nor getting remote First Nations off of
diesel. The period between 2016 and 2020 is crucial when it comes to an increased level of
supply in the region and without the full output of the Thunder Bay Generating Station we will
not be able to support this new growth.”
The Energy Task Force indicated that their job was “clearly not done” and they will continue,
along with its partners, to push for a significant increase in the contract for advance biomass
and in the long term the full conversion of the Generating Station to Natural Gas.