Decision to close Lambton and Nanticoke will cost taxpayers dearly

TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Society of Energy Professionals says that the Ontario Government's decision to close both the Lambton and Nanticoke Generating stations later this year is a huge mistake. 

Society Vice-President Joe Fierro says that instead of closing the stations, "both Lambton and Nanticoke should be converted by OPG to burn either biomass or natural gas and continue to be contributors to the province's energy supply."

Fierro says that in the first 9 months of 2012, the OPG Thermal plants were paid an average rate of 3.5 cents/KWh while the average cost to ratepayers in the province for electricity generated by others excluding OPG was 8.3 cents/kWh.

"The electricity generated from these 2 plants to be shutdown is less than half the price of the average of the other generators.  This decision will drive rates up for all ratepayers."

Fierro added that the decision to shut down the Lambton and Nanticoke generating stations will put over 100 people out of work at Lambton and over 250 people out of work at Nanticoke.       

"The loss of these well-paying full time jobs will cause significant hardship to the local economy and drive up unemployment in communities already struggling," Fierro said.  "The stations purchase supplies and services from the local community thus creating spinoff employment and income to the local communities which will not continue after the closure." 

Fierro said the Lambton plant has flue gas desulphurization equipment (FGD) to remove sulphur dioxide and both the Lambton and Nanticoke plants have the technology to remove nitrous oxide from the exhaust it produces and are among the cleanest coal units in the northeast US/Central Canada air shed.

The Society Vice-President said "these plants can run for many more years and the rate payers of the province will see a financial loss as these plants will now be written off prematurely rather than continue to run and generate safe, reliable and low cost electricity." 

He also stated, "This government needs to begin to show the voters in this province that it supports publicly owned OPG by ensuring that it is provided with fair rates for its electricity and given opportunities to develop new generating plants to allow OPG to continue to be the low cost producer of electricity and have a moderating affect on electricity prices in the province and not slowly dismantled piece by piece."

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 8300 engineers, telecommunications and information technology professionals, scientists and others who for generations have designed, built, operated and helped safeguard Ontario's vast electricity system. The Society's members work for Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One, Bruce Power, the IESO, the OEB, the ESA and other key electricity sector employers. 

SOURCE: The Society of Energy Professionals

For further information:

Joe Fierro cell 416- 931-8836
Bob Kanduth 416-979-2709 x 4002 cell 647- 404-8918

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