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Natural gas generating station gets OK from Haldimand

Simcoe Reformer: Monte Sonnenberg - December 19, 2008

An American firm took an important step this week toward the construction of a large natural gas generating plant in the Nanticoke Industrial Park.

Monday, Haldimand council agreed to amend its official plan to allow CPV Canada Development of Braintree, Massachusetts, to build a 1,200 megawatt generating facility on a 200-acre parcel on Haldimand Road 55.

"It's enough to power 360,000 homes," Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer said yesterday. "That's a lot of energy. Hopefully, we'll become an energy hub with a little bit of everything."

The land in question is located on Walpole Concession Road 4 between U.S. Steel Canada and the Imperial Oil refinery. Monday's approval was an important one, but there are many more hurdles to clear before the sod is turned.

"We're hoping to have this facility on line, if we're successful, by 2013," said CPV vice-president Duncan McEachern, spokesperson for the project. "We've got a lot of work to do. We continue to communicate with the community on an ongoing basis as to where we're at."

CPV has yet to set a budget for the project. At full capacity, the facility is expected to create 30 full-time jobs and generate 30 per cent as much hydro as the 4,000 megawatt Nanticoke Generating Station to the south. The McGuinty government intends to close the coal-fired plant by 2014.

CPV has 7,000 megawatts of clean power under management in the United States and proposals for another 5,000 megawatts in Canada.

Now that it has zoning approval for the Nanticoke project, CPV needs the permission of the Ontario Power Authority to sell power to the provincial grid. That wouldn't be hard to do because the proposed plant is located next to the transmission corridor serving the Nanticoke Generating Station.

Craig Manley, Haldimand's general manager of planning and economic development, says CPV also needs to complete two environmental assessments.

One involves the creation of a pipeline to bring water from the Nanticoke water treatment plant beside the Nanticoke Generating Station to the site three concessions to the north.

As well, an environmental assessment will be required for a dedicated pipeline bringing in natural gas from Hamilton. The proposed route for this pipeline is the transmission corridor running north from the industrial park.

CPV has optioned land belonging to farmers Don and Doug Mattice. Plans for the station feature four natural gas turbine generators and four heat-recovery steam generators connected to two steam turbines. A facility of this sort would run 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Two other major energy projects in Nanticoke are being investigated.

Oct. 31, Bruce Power of Tiverton announced plans for a $30 million, three-year environmental assessment on 2,000 acres of land west of U.S. Steel Canada. Bruce Power is exploring the possibility of locating two nuclear reactors in this location.

As well, Tribute Resources of London announced plans to install 30 megawatts of wind-generating capacity on 1,800 acres, also in the industrial park.

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