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OPG made sure coal-fired plants in Ontario were all converted in spring 2014, including its Atikokan, Ont. plant. The facility opened in 1985 using coal-fired power generation. In its coal-fired days the Atikokan facility used to burn 90,000 tonnes of coal annually.

The conversion project was the first of its kind in Ontario, creating the largest capacity 100 per cent biomass fuelled power plant in North America. The total cost of the conversion was announced as a $170-million investment that created approximately 200 construction jobs over the course of the 18-month project timeline.

 The total scope of the construction phase involved two major projects: retrofitting the current equipment to convert from burning coal to burning biomass, and building new storage and handling facilities specifically for wood pellets.

 One of the most positive results of the decision to convert from coal to biomass was that the employee base for both operations stayed the same.

OPG understood the reduction of greenhouse gases generated using biomass versus coal. Oxides of sulphur were eliminated as a result of no longer using coal, and nitrous oxide emissions were reduced by about 60 per cent.

On Sept. 11, OPG Atikokan burned its last piece of coal.

Read the full conversion story.

And for more case studies, click here.

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Power Generation


Sustainable power

The vast majority of Canadian wood pellets are made from sawmill residuals - sawdust. The rest are made from the residuals from harvesting operations for sawmills and pulp mills, or low-grade timber from forest industry harvest sites that has no other economic value. Think firewood. Read more...

Breathing easier - pellet emissions vs coal

Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.


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