December 5, 2006
Green power sidelined
Clean, green power development along the shores of Lake Huron has been put on hold by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) in order to give the Bruce Nuclear station first priority access to the region’s transmission grid. And now we have learned that Bruce Power, the private company that has leased the Bruce Nuclear Plant from the Ontario Government, plans to use that same grid to export power to the United States. Bruce Power has recently filed an application with the National Energy Board seeking approval for exports and is applying for a power marketer’s licence from the appropriate U.S. agencies.
So what’s the real story? Is Ontario in such a power crunch that we have to keep dirty coal plants burning for another decade or more? Or do we expect to soon have so much surplus power that the OPA itself has developed plans for significant coal-fired electricity exports in 2010, and Bruce Power is now seeking approval to export nuclear electricity to the U.S.? Is the province committed to the development of clean renewable power, like the significant wind power potential of the Lake Huron shoreline, or is it going to stop renewable projects from proceeding in order to ensure that Bruce Power can get its power to market? There’s a very fishy smell coming off the Lake Huron shoreline these days and it’s not from a local clam bake.
What we are really seeing are the true outlines of the OPA’s 1950s-style mega-project plan for Ontario’s power system – three or four big nuclear plants backstopped by dirty coal generators to meet most of the province’s energy needs. Green power and conservation, meanwhile, are second-class citizens that must not get in the way of big power company profits or mega-project planning. It’s not pretty and it’s not what the Premier likes to talk about, but it is the evolving reality in Ontario.
If this is not the future you want for Ontario, write our political leaders and tell them it’s time to get our priorities straight: Premier McGuinty – firstname.lastname@example.org, Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory –email@example.com and NDP Leader Howard Hampton – firstname.lastname@example.org all need to hear from you!
Please pass this message on to your friends.
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