Energy Costs Could Rise by 70 per cent if Natural Gas Generation Replaces Coal Plants in Ontario


From the Editor

On Oct. 10th vote for anyone but McGuinty and his party of clowns.

The economy of Ontario will be crushed if this man is allowed to continue. A 70% rise in electrical rates will send every major employer running. Affordable power is the cornerstone of the Ontario economy. High rates = high unemployment.

Note: at 8pm tonight the 396 MWs of installed wind capacity were generating a grand total of 18 MWs.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.Turning grain to power; LGS wants to test mix of distiller’s grain, coal

CATHY DOBSON / The Observer
Local News – Saturday, July 28, 2007 @ 16:00

Ontario Power Generation hopes the province will soon approve testing of an innovative fuel alternative at the Lambton Generating Station this year.

“We’re still learning more about it but we think it’s viable,” said LGS spokesperson Susan Thurston.

The coal-fired power plant intends to conduct tests with dried distiller’s grain from a Lambton County supplier, she said.

If the Ministry of Environment gives the green light, five to 10 per cent grain will be mixed with the coal in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is still released by burning biomass but when crops are grown a nearly equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is captured through photosynthesis, making biomass “greenhouse gas neutral,” according to LGS.

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Mixing biomass products with coal is still in the experimental stage, Thurston said. LGS needs to establish if it’s technically, economically and environmentally advantageous to use biomass co-fired technology.

“We continuously look at the possibility of using different types of fuel,” she said.

Mixing various types of grain products with coal is already a well-established practice in several European countries.

Overseas, the fuel is blended with up to 20 per cent biomass, according to information provided by Lambton Generating Station.

Biomass is used to describe any organic material made from plants and animals and used as an energy source.

When certain organic materials are combined with coal to make electricity, carbon emissions are lower.

Biomass fuels provide only about three per cent of the energy used in the U.S. today, but that’s expected to change as concern for the environment increases.

In 2006, OPG’s Nanticoke Generating Station began tests that involved mixing coal with wheat shorts, a byproduct of the milling process.

More extensive testing is taking place at Nanticoke this year to provide detailed energy and environmental data, said Thurston.

Dried distiller’s grain is the biomass fuel of choice for LGS because it can be bought locally, she said.

Meanwhile, Premier Dalton McGuinty repeated his pledge this week to shut down Ontario’s coal-fired plants by 2014, even if it means paying higher electricity rates.

A new report predicts that energy costs could rise as much as 70 per cent if natural gas generation replaces the four coal plants. But McGuinty said that’s the cost of cleaner air.

“The single greatest contributor to greenhouse gases in the province of Ontario is coal-fired generation so we’re going to do something about that,” he said.

Tell your Liberal MPP what you think.

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