Ontario can now meet its electricity needs without using coal. In fact we now have a surplus of coal-free electricity generation capacity. So there is no need to wait until 2014 to end the use of coal to generate electricity. We can commit to taking our coal plants offline in 2010 and show the world at the G20 meeting in Toronto that we are committed to climate leadership.

Here are the facts:

  • Ontario’s coal-free generation capacity (29,031 MW) is now 23% greater than Ontario’s forecast peak demand for electricity in 2010 (23,608 MW) and 27% greater than the projected peak demand in 2014. [4]

  • Ontario’s peak demand for electricity has fallen by 10% between 2006 and 2009. That is, from 27,005 megawatts (MW) in 2006[1] to 24,333 MW in 2009.[2] 

  • According to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) 18-Month Outlook, “peak demands are expected to decline throughout the forecast. Peak demands are subject to two competing forces. The economic recovery, population growth and growth in the building stock all act to boost peak demands. Conservation, the growth in embedded generation and time of use rates will all act to reduce peak demands. In the end, the combined impacts will lead to lower peak demands.”[3]   
  • According to the IESO, Ontario’s required reserve margin to meet the Northeast Power Coordining Council’s (NPCC) design criteria for resource adequacy is between 12% and 17% for the 2010 to 2026 time period.[5]

  • As of November 4, 2009 Ontario’s existing installed generation is 35,465 MW and Ontario’s forecast peak demand in 2010 is 23,608.[6] Therefore, Ontario’s existing reserve margin is 50%.

  • The Nanticoke coal-fired power plant, on the north shore of Lake Erie, is North America’s largest coal-fired generating station and Canada’s #1 greenhouse gas polluter.

Please contact Premier Dalton McGuinty and urge him to commit to idling Ontario’s coal plants in 2010 and using them only in the unlikely event that there is no other option for keeping the lights on.  www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp?Lang=EN




[1]   IESO, News Release, “IESO Releases 2006 Generation and Consumption Figures”, (January 16, 2007).
[2]   IESO, IESO Bulletin, (September 3, 2009).
[3]   IESO, 18-Month Outlook: From December 2009 to May 2011, (November 17, 2009), page v.
[4]   18-Month Outlook, pages 5 & 7.
[5]   IESO, Ontario Reserve Requirements to Meet NPCC Criteria, (August 3, 2007), pages 1 & 2.
[6]   18-Month Outlook, pages 5 and 7.