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Ontario plans $87 billion in power projects

The Ontario government has laid out its long-term energy plans for the next 20 years, which gives consulting engineers chance to see where construction projects are likely to materialize.


The Ontario government has laid out its long-term energy plans for the next 20 years, which gives consulting engineers chance to see where construction projects are likely to materialize.

The plan envisages a growth in demand for power of around 15% between 2010 and 2030.  It foresees the need for capital investment of $87 billion over the next 20 years.

Highlights of the strategy, which was published November 23, include are as follows:

Nuclear power will be maintained at around 50% of the supply. For this, the government says it will need two new nuclear units at Darlington, and will modernize units at the Darlington and Bruce sites. It also plans to extend the life of Pickering B until 2020.

Hydroelectric generation is to be increased, with new generation from the Niagara Tunnel (already under construction) and Lower Mattami projects.

The target for renewable energy from wind, solar and bioenergy is 10,700 MW by 2018. The government intends to achieve this through expanding and maximizing the existing transmission system.

It is also proceeding with five priority transmission projects that it needs immediately.

Natural gas generation is to be used for peak needs to support the increase in renewable sources.

A standard offer program for combined heat and power projects under 20 MW is to be developed.

Conservation will continue to be a key strategy, with the government increasing its targets to 7,100 MW and reducing overall demand by 28 TWh by 2030.

The government plans to be coal-free by 2014, closing two more plants at Nanticoke b 2011, converting two units at a coal plant in Thunder Bay to gas, and one at Atikokan to biomass.

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