April 3, 2007
Pulling Toronto Backwards
The Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA’s) mega-project plans for our electricity system may soon be seen first-hand from East Toronto backyards, parks and schoolyards. The OPA is calling for Hydro One to construct a high-voltage transmission corridor through the city’s east end to carry nuclear-generated electricity to the city’s downtown.
The 10-storey transmission towers that could carry these new lines through Markham, Scarborough, Leaside and Riverdale to the waterfront will be a very visible example of the price we will pay for the OPA’s single-minded focus on an old-style centralized power system fed by three giant nuclear plants.
There is, of course, a much better solution that fits with Mayor David Miller’s commitment to making Toronto the greenest city in North America (as opposed to one of its most nuclear reliant). Instead of spending $600 million on towers, trenches and wires, as the OPA proposes, we can embrace a smart, new energy future by developing a truly integrated plan for significantly improved energy efficiency, Made-in-Toronto renewable power, and much more reliable and efficient combined heat and power systems (systems that are 80-90% efficient compared to the 30% efficiency of a nuclear plant). The result would be an efficient, flexible, reliable and clean electricity system that puts power where it is needed – not miles away.
It’s interesting to note that New York City is required to have the capacity to generate 80% of its electricity within the city’s boundaries. Toronto, meanwhile, currently generates 2% of its own power and the OPA’s plan will just continue to stretch the city’s already tenuous links to remote power stations even further.
If you think there are better ways to spend $600 million, please email Mayor David Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, and urge him to take action to demonstrate that Toronto does not want to be tied to the past, but is ready to move forward to a clean, green energy future.
For more information on the proposed East Toronto transmission line, see our new fact sheet, East Toronto Transmission Line: Pulling Toronto Backwards on our website at www.cleanairalliance.org .
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Phone: 416-926-1907 ext. 245