Ontario, Canada is now home to North America's largest power plant fueled completely by biomass. The Atikokan Generating Station conversion is complete and the station is now generating electricity and helping meet local power needs in northwestern Ontario.
Atikokan Generating Station, which employs 70 full-time workers, burned its last coal two years ago, on Sept. 11, 2012. Conversion of the station began in mid-2012 and included construction of two silos and boiler modifications to accommodate the biomass. The project employed over 200 highly skilled trades people and technical workers.
A coal-free energy mix will lead to a significant reduction in harmful emissions, cleaner air and a healthier environment.
The biomass used to fuel Atikokan Generating Station is being harvested and processed in Ontario. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has contracts in place with two local companies, Rentech and Resolute Forest Products Canada, which will each supply 45,000 metric tons of wood pellets annually.
"A new era has dawned in Ontario; one where the air will be cleaner and the multiple costs of coal-fired generation have become a distant memory. Atikokan's successful conversion to biomass will put Ontario on the world map as a leader in using this sustainable fuel source for electricity production," Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy.