All the provinces coal-burning power plants will be shuttered by 2014, making the Canadian province the first coal-free jurisdiction in North America
Yesterday, the province announced that its last two large coal units will close before 2014, making more than 99 percent of the province's electricity generated from non-coal sources. It is a major shift for Ontario, which fired 25 percent of its grid from coal a decade ago.
"Today, all Ontarians can breathe a little easier," said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in a statement.
The two units slated for shutdown by the end of the year are the Lambton Generating Station and the Nanticoke Generating Station, which at its peak capacity of near 4,000 megawatts was one of the largest coal facilities in the world.
To prepare for the coal phaseout, McGuinty introduced an aggressive energy law in 2009 establishing energy efficiency programs and a feed-in tariff providing generous financial benefits to renewable developers. Those efficiency programs have helped make Ontario one of the few jurisdictions in the world where energy demand is declining, rather than increasing, Weis said.
"This shows it is possible to do this in a jurisdiction with big electricity consumption," he said.