Ontario, which has committed to cease coal-fired generation in the province by the end of 2014, is one step closer to its goal.
On Oct. 23, the province marked the end of burning coal at the Lambton Generating Station. This leaves Nanticoke Generating Station as the last operating coal-fired facility in southern Ontario, which is slated to stop burning coal at the end of 2013.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, closing these plants one year ahead of schedule will save ratepayers C$95 million from reduced maintenance and project costs. In addition, the agency says replacing coal with cleaner generation, renewables and conservation will significantly help ease strain on the healthcare system by eliminating emissions that contribute to illness and premature death.
"Ontario is committed to building a clean, modern reliable electricity system to replace dirty coal-fired generation," said Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli. "Getting off coal is the single largest climate change initiative being undertaken in North America, equivalent to taking up to seven million cars off the road. This initiative will leave a healthier environment, cleaner air for our children and grandchildren."
Since 2003, the Ontario Ministry of Energy says the province has cut its use of coal by nearly 90%. By the end of this year, Ontario will have shut down 17 of 19 coal-fired units; all of them will be shut down by the end of 2014.