Ontario Power Generation Biomass Energy
OPG is currently testing the use of biomass as a new renewable energy source for Ontario. Biomass used in OPG's program consists primarily of wood pellets and agricultural by-products such as grain screenings and milling spoils that can be burned to generate electricity. OPG does not use food crops in its biomass program.
Biomass is considered to be "carbon neutral", meaning the amount of carbon released when burned is equal to the amount removed from the atmosphere when the plant is growing.
For power companies, biomass has the potential to play an important role in reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by supplementing or replacing coal. Mixing biomass with coal is already a well established practice in several European countries.
More recently, OPG's Nanticoke Generating Station successfully co-fired milling by-products with coal and OPG's Thunder Bay Generating Station conducted a test burn using pelletized grain screenings. The Atikokan Generating Station has been testing wood pellets with considerable success.
In April of 2006, the Ontario Government established the Atikokan Bioenergy Research Centre. OPG's Atikokan Generating Station is hosting some of the work.