Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.
Those arguing in favour of keeping Thunder Bay’s power station open say the coal-burning plant got a shot in the arm thanks to an Ontario Energy Board ruling which says it must run at least for the duration of 2013.
But the province is remaining coy about the Ontario Power Generation station’s long-term fate, saying a proposed conversion to natural gas is still undecided.
“We have a responsibility to wait for the full assessment by the Ontario Power Authority before making any final decision on (an) conversion,” Energy Ministry spokeswoman Beckie Codd-Downey said Monday in an email.
The decision by the OEB was applauded by the Common Voice Northwest Energy Task Force, which until recently felt like “a voice in the wilderness.” Northwest co-chairman Iain Angus said the OEB decision reflects what the task force has said all along — that the region’s demand for electricity could be seriously compromised if the Thunder Bay station is taken off line.
“Back in January, during the cold snap, it was running at 150 megawatts,” Angus noted. About 125 people work at the Mission Island station, which has a maximum capacity of just over 30 mw.