Ontario Power Generation is receiving serious pushback after one of its subsidiaries announced a C$2.8-billion deal to buy three gas-fired power plants in Halton Hills, Napanee, and Toronto from TC Energy.
The deal transfers nearly two gigawatts of capacity to the Crown-owned power generation company. Citing a projection from the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the Ontario Clean Air Alliance says the Ford government’s electricity plan will drive up greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas plants by more than 300%, “essentially throwing away one-third of the climate pollution reductions Ontario achieved by phasing out coal-fired power.”
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“Completing this transaction further strengthens our financial position, helps fund our industry-leading secured capital program, and maximizes value for our shareholders,” said TC Energy President and CEO Russ Girling, whose company was one of the few in the North American oilpatch to report a profit for the first three months of the year. The pipeliner formerly known as TransCanada has also pledged to continue work on its Keystone XL pipeline, despite a federal court ruling in Montana last month that invalidated a key construction permit for the controversial project.
“There are far better ways to keep our lights on, starting with maximizing our energy efficiency efforts, making a deal with Quebec for low-cost water power, and developing cost-effective renewable energy projects right here in Ontario,” the Clean Air Alliance writes. “These actions would allow Ontario to phase out polluting gas-fired power and create a strong foundation for a green economic recovery from our current COVID-19 crisis. Instead of spending $2.8 billion to increase greenhouse gas pollution, Ontario should be embracing the opportunity to develop a 100% renewable electricity system.”
OCAA is running a sign-on campaign calling on Ontario to phase out its gas plants.