The most expensive individual seat the Ontario Liberals have bought with future electricity ratepayer dollars is the northwestern riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan. In the 2007 election, Liberal Bill Mauro beat out the NDP’s John Rafferty by a mere 50 votes. NDP support in the riding was growing as the Liberals had announced they were shutting down Atikokan’s coal fired generator. To avoid losing the seat, a very expensive idea was born — convert OPG’s Atikokan into a forest-fired generator.
The original goal was to have three pellet providers each providing 30,000 bdt/year to OPG. In the end, there were only two viable suppliers. Since there was no competition for providing the politically required fuel, Resolute and Rentech were able to extract a better price from captive ratepayers. The end result is a per unit cost that some estimate at over $0.60/kWh.
The good news for ratepayers and northern forests is that the facility is designed to run not more than 8% of the time, thereby capping the damage.
Since the costs were distributed over one seat, whereas the gas plant relocation costs were distributed over five or six seats, the cost per seat in Thunderbay-Atikokan appears to set the record.
I have tried to get Resolute and Rentech to cough up details on how much clear cutting they will do. For some strange reason, no response.
I have also been trying through questions on Twitter to get the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s Dr. Chris Wilkinson, whose Twitter handle is @eastern_wolf, to acknowledge that forest-fired power generation at Atikokan may impact at risk woodland caribou populations in southern areas of its historic range. Dr. Wilkinson has previously had an interest in at risk woodland caribou. For some strange reason, no response.
Tom Adams @tomadamsenergy Nov 15
Q for @eastern_wolf: In your opinion is “biomass” harvesting in the Longlac area to fuel Atikokan GS hurting woodland caribou?
Tom Adams @tomadamsenergy Nov 22
@eastern_wolf You’ve studied decline ON’s woodland caribou. Please share your view of impact of Atikokan GS biofuel harvest near Longlac.
Tom Adams @tomadamsenergy Dec 19
@eastern_wolf Are you concerned that biofuel harvest near Longlac 4 Atikokan GS is harming at risk woodland caribou? http://ecoissues.ca/index.php/Conserving_woodland_caribou:_the_benchmark_for_Northern_sustainability …
Tom Adams @tomadamsenergy Jan 28
Q for @eastern_wolf Is “biofuel” harvest near Longlac to supply Atikokan GS harming habitat of at risk woodland caribou?
Tom Adams @tomadamsenergy Mar 27
Q 4 @eastern_wolf: Are you monitoring enviro impacts of forest-fired power generation in Ontario?
If by chance, this posting comes to the attention of Robert Smithers, I’d very much appreciate the opportunity to connect. Please feel free to use the “Contact Tom” button above.