Capital Power is proposing to build a new 100-megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant in Windsor. This plant will affect local air quality and contribute to skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions from the Ontario power sector. Under the Ford government’s current plan, greenhouse gas pollution from Ontario’s gas-fired power plants will soar by more than 300% by 2030 and by more than 700% by 2043.
An increasingly dirty electricity supply will jeopardize Windsor’s ability to attract the electric vehicle and battery plants that will be needed to achieve its goal of becoming a centre for electric and autonomous vehicle manufacturing. Electric vehicle manufacturers (e.g., Stellantis, Ford, GM and Porsche) have made it clear they want zero-carbon electricity.
Windsor, as a major manufacturing centre, has huge potential to tap into low-cost energy efficiency and demand response improvements that can help eliminate that need for polluting gas plants. Energy Minister Todd Smith should direct the Independent Electricity System Operator to procure at least an additional 1,500 MW of demand response resources to shift electricity demand from peak to off-peak periods. This can benefit Windsor industries, making them more efficient and profitable.
Other steps the government can take include: negotiating a multi-year contract with Hydro Quebec to import at least 1,500 MW of electricity during our summer peak demand hours; and allowing residential and small commercial customers to sell electricity to Ontario’s electricity grid during peak demand hours from their electric vehicles’ batteries, their stationary batteries (e.g., Tesla Powerwall) and their solar roof tops. These options would be win-win for small businesses, homeowners and our climate. Creating a large-scale battery storage facility in Windsor should also be pursued.
Windsor City Council has passed a Climate Emergency Declaration that recognizes the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Approving a new gas plant that will employ a handful of people – and that will make the climate emergency worse – would not be a good first step for acting on this declaration. Shifting to smart systems and new forms of energy storage will create many more jobs and future opportunities.
For more information, read our fact sheet: How Ontario Can Avoid New Gas Plants and Lower Electricity Costs.
What you can do
According to Energy Minister Smith’s December 23, 2022 directive to the IESO, new gas plants, including the proposed Capital Power plant, can only be built if they have the support of their local municipal council. As a result, Capital Power is asking Windsor City Council to pass a municipal support resolution on Monday, January 16th.
Please contact Mayor Dilkens and Windsor City Council and ask them to say “no” to a new polluting gas-fired power plant in Windsor. Please remind them that we have cleaner and lower cost options to meet our electricity needs, that will help advance Windsor’s goal of becoming a leader in electric and autonomous vehicle manufacturing.