Thunder Bay Generating Station

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Thunder Bay Generating Station
ThunderBayCoalGenStn.jpg
The Thunder Bay Generating Station
CountryCanada
Location Thunder Bay, Ontario
Coordinates 48°21′36″N89°13′12″W / 48.36000°N 89.22000°W / 48.36000; -89.22000 Coordinates: 48°21′36″N89°13′12″W / 48.36000°N 89.22000°W / 48.36000; -89.22000
StatusDecommissioned
Commission date 1963 (coal)
2015 (biomass)
Decommission date2018
Owner(s) Ontario Power Generation
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Advanced biomass
Turbine technology Steam turbine

The Thunder Bay Generating Station ("Thunder Bay GS") is a biomass-fired power station owned by Ontario Power Generation ("OPG"). It is located on Mission Island in Thunder Bay, on the shore of Lake Superior. [1]

Contents

Operating since 1963, Thunder Bay GS was the last coal fired station in Ontario. The plant was shut down in April 2014 as part of Ontario's phase out of coal-fired electricity generation. [2] [3] It was converted to run on advanced biomass (wood pellets) and recommissioned on February 9, 2015. [2]

Historic operations

Thunder Bay GS began operation in 1963, with one 100 MW coal-fuelled generating unit. Two additional coal-fuelled units were added in the early 1980s, and in 1984 the original 100 MW unit was removed from service. This plant is connected to the power grid via 115 KV and 230 KV transmission lines. The station occupies 53 ha (131 acres) on Mission Island, at the mouth of the Kaministiquia River delta on Thunder Bay. The plant's chimney is 198 m (650 ft) tall. [4]

The two coal-fuelled boilers provided a peak output of 326 MW fuelled by low-sulphur lignite coal from the Ravenscrag Formation in Southern Saskatchewan [5] and low-sulphur sub-bituminous coal from the Powder River Basin in the United States. [4]

While operating as a coal plant, annual production was approximately 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh), enough energy to supply over 100,000 households for one year.

Conversion from coal

There were multiple announcements on the future of Thunder Bay GS over a 10-year period. The Ontario government initially proposed a conversion to natural gas in 2004 but subsequently cancelled that plan in 2006. [6]

Then, as part of the 2010 Long-Term Energy Plan, Ontario's Ministry of Energy announced that Thunder Bay GS would be converted from coal to natural gas by the end of 2014. This was part of the Ontario government's commitment to phase out all of its coal-burning power generation. [7]

On 1 November 2012, OPG announced that the Ontario Power Authority requested that the conversion to natural gas be suspended until the Ontario Power Authority could assess generating needs in northwestern Ontario. [8] The next announcement on the generating station's fate was made in November 2013 when the Ministry of Energy announced that Thunder Bay GS would be converted to advanced biomass. [2]

Ontario’s Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli outlined the broad terms of the conversion in a directive to the Ontario Power Authority dated 16 December 2013. [9] Chiarelli noted that the station will have only one unit operating as a peaking plant and that OPG is only permitted to purchase 15,000 tonnes of fuel annually. It was estimated that the 15,000 tonnes of fuel will permit the single unit to operate at 2% of capacity. [10] The generating station will have a five-year contract to produce electricity starting in January 2015. [11]

As of 2015, the plant burns steam treated wood pellets (biocoal) from Arbaflame in Norway. [12]

On July 27, 2018 OPG and IESO announced the closure of Thunder Bay Generating Station due to having a leak in the boiler causing the station to be shut down since May. Estimated repair costs would be about $5 million and the contract expiration in 2020 was not intended to be renewed. [13] [14]


See also

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References

  1. "Thunder Bay Generation Station". Ontario Power Generation . Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Thunder Bay generating station to burn biomass". Thunder Bay Newswatch. CBC News . Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  3. "Ontario Power Generation Moves to Cleaner Energy Future: Thunder Bay Station Burns Last Piece of Coal" (PDF). Ontario Power Generation . Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Thunder Bay Generating Station (brochure)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  5. Saskatchewan Energy and Mines (December 1994). "Coal in Saskatchewan" (PDF). Saskatchewan Publications Centre. p. 27. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  6. Stewart, Bob. "Thunder Bay coal plant to convert to gas". Kenora Daily Miner and News. Sun Media Corporation. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  7. "Thunder Bay Coal Plant To Convert To Cleaner Power". Province of Ontario. November 23, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  8. "Thunder Bay Conversion Project Suspended" (PDF). Ontario Power Generation. November 1, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 28, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  9. "Re: Supply Agreement with Ontario Power Generation for the conversion of Thunder Bay Generating Station" (PDF). Ministry of Energy, Government of Ontario. December 16, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  10. Ross, Ian (January 7, 2014). "Pellet solution will save on power plant conversion costs". Northern Ontario Business Ltd. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  11. "Cleaner Air for Ontarians". Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Gov't of Ontario. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  12. "OPG Celebrates National Bioenergy Day" (PDF). Ontario Power Generation. October 21, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  13. Vis, Matt (July 27, 2018). "Update: Generating station to be closed". TBNewsWatch.com. Dougall Media. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  14. "High cost, lack of use shutters Thunder Bay Generating Station". Northern Ontario Business. Retrieved 2020-01-17.