Atikokan Generating Station
Ontario Power Generationís (OPG) Atikokan Generating Station (GS) is located near the Town of Atikokan in northwestern Ontario. Prior to September 2012, the station produced approximately 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity, using low-sulphur lignite coal from Western Canada. On Sept. 11, 2012, Atikokan ceased using coal as fuel and the unit was taken out of service to be converted to use biomass. The conversion project is now underway.
In the past decade, annual electricity production has been as high as 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough to supply about 83,000 homes for a year. More recently, due to economic downturn and emission regulations, Atikokan GSís role has changed to providing reliability during peak demand times and back up electricity generation when other sources are not available. The plant currently employs about 70 people from the Atikokan area. Their skills and experience are essential to safe and reliable operation.
Atikokan GS Biomass Conversion Project
Breaking ground on Oct. 11, 2012 (above photo, left to right): Chris Fralick, Plant Manager, Northwest Thermal (OPG); Tom Mitchell, OPG President and CEO; Bill Mauro MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan; Dennis Brown, Mayor of Atikokan; and Brent Boyko, Atikokan Generating Station Manager.
OPG is proceeding with construction of the $170-million Atikokan GS biomass conversion project. The converted Atikokan station will provide renewable electricity generation from a sustainable fuel recognized as beneficial to climate change mitigation. Atikokan GS will be one of the largest biomass plants in North America and will generate renewable, dispatchable, peak capacity power.
The project will create about 200 construction jobs and help to protect existing jobs at the plant. The project includes plant modifications to provide peak capacity and the construction of a fuel storage and handling system that can handle up to 90,000 tonnes of biomass fuel annually. Construction activities will ramp up over the summer. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.
- Photo: Atikokan Silo
May 10, 2013
- Photo: Atikokan Silo
May 2, 2013
- Photo: Silo Foundation Nov. 20, 2012
- News Release: Atikokan GS Biomass Fuel Suppliers Announced
- News Release: Construction Starts on Atikokan Biomass Conversion Project Photo: Ground Breaking
- News Release: Atikokan Biomass Project Boosts Northern Economy
- OPG Sustainable Development Report 2010
- Biomass Fact Sheet Sep. 2011
- Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Resolution supporting Atikokan GS Repowering May 2011
- Atikokan Chamber of Commerce Resolution supporting Atikokan GS Repowering Project Mar. 2011
- Town of Atikokan Resolution Supporting Atikokan GS Repowering Project Jan. 2011
- Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan Media Release Nov. 2010
- Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan Nov. 2010
- Ontario Minister of Energy Directive to OPA re: Atikokan GS Biomass PPA Media Release Aug. 2010
- Ontario Minister of Energy Directive to OPA re: Atikokan GS Biomass PPA Aug. 2010