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Wind farms making coal phase-out easier

Chatham This Week: - September 1, 2010

New wind farms in Chatham-Kent-Essex are helping Ontario phase out coal production while adding renewable hydro to the grid, says Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Pat Hoy.

"Ontario has sufficient electricity generation and transmission resources available to maintain reliability over the next year-and-a-half, according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in its latest 18-month outlook," Hoy says in a news release.

"With 3,400 megawatts (MW) of new generation expected to come online, and a transmission system adequate to meet expected demands, Ontario will have sufficient generation and transmission resources available to support the reliable operation of the electricity system over the next 18 months," said Hoy, pointing out "this new supply includes over 1,200 MW of new wind generation which will more than double the existing installed wind capacity."

Over 600 MW of gas-fired generation will also be completed in the next 18 months. The remaining 1,500 MW will come from two refurbished nuclear units at the Bruce A Nuclear Station that are expected to return to service in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.

Hoy said as a result of Ontario's healthy supply situation, the move to eliminate coal-fired generation by 2014 will continue as planned with the de-commissioning of four units later this year.

Electricity consumption in Ontario is expected to show modest growth in 2010 and 2011 with increases of 1.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively as the economy picks up. In particular industrial demand has increased every month since the start of the year.