Calculated using Ontario Hydro data

Prepared by Louise Comeau
Sierra Club of Canada
August 18, 1997

Ontario Hydro announced August 13, 1997 that it would close seven nuclear reactors over the next year and repair others over the next three years. Projected costs are at least $8 billion. Ontario Hydro plans to rely more heavily on fossil fuel thermal power plants in Canada, and in the US to make up the shortfall.

This backgrounder provides detail on the expected increase in emissions of the pollutants causing climate change, acid rain and smog as a result of relying on coal and oil-fired power stations. Particulates and mercury also will be emitted but those calculations are not yet available. Mercury is a toxic, bioaccumulative neurotoxin, particulates lodge deep in the lungs and can cause respiratory and cardiac problems. In addition, estimates are provided on the potential for energy efficiency and independent power production to make up the shortfall of 5,400 MW from the nuclear reactor shutdowns.

The crisis in the nuclear division provides Ontario Hydro and all Ontarians with an opportunity to chart a new course. Further spending on nuclear and fossil fuel-fired electricity is not sustainable economically, or environmentally. Now is the time to reinvest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now is the time to take Ontario into the 21st Century. Investments in energy-efficient technologies, state-of-the-art high-efficiency cogeneration and renewable energy like wind and solar will create jobs, reduce local and regional air pollution, protect the climate and our health, and make the economy more productive and competitive.

The situation

Seven nuclear reactors are being shut down:

Bruce A: 2 units at 848 MW(e) each; 1 unit at Bruce A already closed: 848 MW(e)
Pickering A: four units at 515 (MW(e) each

Total shut down :5,400 MW

That's enough capacity to provide electricity to approximately 3,250,000 homes.

Or, looked at another way, this is enough electrical capacity to provide electricity to five cities the size of London, Ontario or to two cities the size of Ottawa.

Four fossil fuel fired thermal stations will be used to make up for the 7 reactor closings:

Lakeview :2,400 MW capacity
Lennox: 2,200 MW capacity
Nanticoke: 4,100 MW capacity
Lambton: 2,040 MW capacity

These fossil-fuel thermal power plants are expected to generate an additional 12.79 Twh of electricity.

A 1,000 MW plant running at 75% capacity generates 7 TWh of power; so 12.79 TWh is approximately equal to 2,000 MW.

The fossil plants, therefore could contribute half of the power required. The remainder will come from imports (mostly coal produced). Over time, some domestic independent power production (natural gas cogeneration and renewables may be brought into the system.

> 1996 Ontario Hydro emissions from fossil fuel thermal power plants

1996 Fossil
Thunder Bay Lennox Lakeview Nanticoke Atitkokan Lambton
TWh (gross) 20.21 1.00 0.170 1.26 10.35 0.885 6.54
NO (Gg) 33.34 1.32 0.194 3.26 17.58 1.29 9.70
NO(Gg/TWh) 1.65 1.32 1.14 2.59 1.70 1.45 1.48
SO2 (Gg) 84.86 4.30 0.385 9.57 46.20 3.49 20.91
SO2 (Gg/TWh) 4.20 4.29 2.26 7.60 4.46 3.95 3.20
CO2 18.12 1.03 0.155 1.14 9.06 0.843 5.89
CO2 (Tg/TWh) 0.90 1.02 0.91 0.90 0.88 0.95 0.90

> Expected emission increases

Emissions (tonnes) SO2 NO CO2
Nanticoke (7 TWh) 31,220 11,900 6,160,000
Lennox (0.92 TWh) 2,079 1,048 83,720
Lambton (4.0 TWh) 12,800 5,920 3,600,000
Lakeview (.8 TWh) 6,080 2,072 72,000
Total: (12.79 TWh) 52,179 20,940 9,915,720

Projections based on assuming 33 TWh of fossil fuel production (Ontario Hydro's projection), an increase of 12.79 TWh over 1996 at 20.21 TWh. Calculations are based on weighted production for the four plants in 1996. The four plants contributed 90.1 per cent of the TWh produced from the fossil business unit in 1996. Nanticoke:56.5%; Lennox: 0.9%; Lakeview: 6.9%; Lambton: 35.7%.

According to Ontario Hydro: Nanticoke and Lambton contributions will remain about the same. Lakeview output will almost double (from 1.2 TWh to 2 TWh) and remaining slack will be taken up by Lennox. Allocating the 12.79 TWh increase as follows: 0.92 TWh to Lennox; .8 TWh to Lakeview, 7.0 TWh to Nanticoke and 4.0 TWh to Lambton.

1996 emissions New projections New totals % increase
NO:33,340 20,940 54,280 38.5%
SO284,860 52,179 137,039 38.1%
CO2:18,120,000 9,915,720 28,035,720 35.4%

> Trends in Emissions

SO2 tonnes NO tonnes CO2 tonnes
Lennox 1991: 2,500 1991:900 800,000
1995:446 1995:183 139,500
1996:385 1996:194 155,000
Nanticoke 1991: 82,000 1991:31,600 15,200,000
1995:37,363 1995:15,057 8,757,500
1996:46,200 1995:17,580 9,060,000
Lambton 1991:37,200 1991:9,600 5,300,000
1995:18,660 1995:6,972 5,533,500
1996:20,910 1996:9,700 5,890,000
Lakeview 1991:36,900 1991:2,300 3,800,000
1995:11,491 1995:3,400 1,069,500
1996:9,570 1996:3,260 1,114,000


*Canada's largest oil-fuelled generating station. Located 32 kilometres west of Kingston in the County of Lennox and Addington. Each of four generating units have an electric power output of 550 MW (2,200 MW) when operating at full capacity.
*Uses residual oil, a refinery by-product.
*Consumption at full capacity - 830 barrels/hour/unit.
*Carbon dioxide emissions: 3,090 g/litre of fuel
*Lennox produced 0.84% of the total from fossil generation in 1996, but 0.58% of NO emissions, 0.45% of SO2 emissions and 0.85% of CO2 emissions.


*Situated on Lake Erie, near Port Dover.
*4,100 MW of capacity, eight units
*Coal fired - supplies 14 per cent of the Provinces electricity requirements.
*Carbon dioxide emissions: 2,510 f/kg fuel
*Coal used at full power: 1,360 tonnes per hour
*Nanticoke produced 51% of the total power from fossil generation in 1996, but 52% of NO (nitric oxide), 54% of SO2 and 50% of CO2.


*Located 15 miles south of Sarnia on the St. Clair River.
*Capacity: 2040 MW, two units
*Carbon dioxide emissions: 2,520 g/kg fuel
*Coal used at full power - 640 tonnes per hour
*Lambton produced 32.4% of the power from fossil plants in 1996, but 29.1 of NO emissions, 24.6% of SO2 and 32.5% of CO2.


*Lakeview is situated on Lake Ontario, in the City of Mississauga.
*Eight units have a capacity of 2400 MW.
*Coal use at full power - 747 tonnes per hour.
*Lakeview generated 6.3% of the total from fossil plants in 1996, but 9.8% of the NO emissions, 11.3% of the SO2 emissions and 6.3% of the CO2 emissions. Lakeview has the highest rate of SO2 emissions per Twh of all the plants: 7.60 Gg/TWh.

Alternative Options for Ontario Hydro


Rational Energy Program: Analysis of the impact of rational measures to the year 2010
Louise Comeau, Sierra Club of Canada, Climate Action Network, Sept. 1996

Package of initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building and industrial sectors and to increase the use of renewable energy in the electricity sector.

Electricity assumptions:

Assumed 50 per cent of projected load growth between 1995 and 2010 is met by efficiency improvements (including internal supply side), assume this has not net cost. As a result of bringing on increased non-utility generation assume 1/4 of projected load growth comes from high-efficiency natural gas industrial cogeneration at cost effective market prices. Assume last 1/4 of load growth provided by renewables, the mix between small hydro, wind and wood waste cogeneration. Distribution of renewables:

Ontario: 30.6 PJ; 400 MW biomass; 433 MW hydro and 1650 MW wind.

The initiatives reduce consumption of energy for producing electricity by 12.4 Mt of carbon dioxide in Ontario by 2010. This is equivalent to saving 2,586 MW of electricity significantly exceeding the projected increase in fossil fuel power plant production.

The Rational Energy Program estimated that investments in efficiency and renewables would create up to 202,800 person years of work in Ontario to 2010.


In the report "Technical and Economic Potential for Wind Energy Development in Ontario" prepared for Passmore & Associates International of Ottawa by R. Lynette & Associates of Redmond, Washington in 1991, the following conclusions were drawn.

"...coastal Southern Ontario has been identified as the most promising area for wind energy in Ontario. This area consists of the coastal areas along the eastern shores of Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Georgian Bay and the northern shores of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Saint Lawrence River."

- The estimated numbers of developable projects (by size) were:

    5 MW
    680 projects
    3,400 MW
    20 MW
    293 projects
    5,860 MW
    50 MW
    133 projects
    6,650 MW
    100 MW
    83 projects
    8,300 MW

This is based on 20% usage of the flat, unobstructed land available.

In the type of wind regimes measured along the shores of the most promising areas for wind energy, the estimated costs and energy generation (using technology referred to as "future" in the 1991 report) are listed as

Installation (total capital costs): $1,322 to $1,415 per kW

Annual O&M costs: $22 to $29 per kW

Net annual energy: 1,638 to 2,298 kWh/kW

Capacity factor :18 to 26%

For wind farms varying in size from 5 MW to 100 MW.


In a report titled "Wind Resource Assessment in Southwestern Ontario" prepared by Zephyr North of Burlington, Ontario in 1995 for Natural Resources Canada and Ontario Hydro, it was concluded that a significant proportion of the historical wind data for southwestern Ontario was under-estimated due to inappropriate siting (for wind energy purposes) of the anemometers at Atmospheric Environment Service stations. Therefore, the values quoted above should be regarded as minimum estimates.


Jeff Passmore, President Canadian Wind Energy Association estimates the following wind potential for Canada:

2000 : 1,000 MW
2005 : 3,000 MW
2010 : 6,400 MW

For Ontario, 3,000 MW of potential is estimated at an assumed installation over a 10 year period(source: Tacke Windpower).


A Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development and Use for Ontario Hydro, October 18, 1993.
(Report of the Task Force on Sustainable Energy Development. Co-Chairman: Jim McNeill/David Runnalls)

Chapter five

Ontario Hydro is the largest energy consumer in Ontario, with an annual fuel bill of over $1 billion. About 30 per cent of the energy content of the fuel is delivered to Hydro's customers as electricity; 70 per cent is either used internally, consumed through distribution or discharged as waste heat.

The total amount of electricity used by Hydro, plus conversion and system losses, is 50 per cent greater than the entire consumption of the City of Toronto.

If Hydro saved only five per cent of its internal energy use (not including conversion losses), the resulting savings would be comparable to the total energy saved by Hydro's customers in 1991.

Findings of studies provided to the Task Force suggest that a total of between 500 and 1,000 MW can be saved. Additional opportunities lie in using waste heat and steam from generating facilities in co-operative ventures with industry and municipalities.

Electricity used by Business Units:

Nuclear (includes heavy water/construction projects : 5,615,000 MWh

Fossil: 1,641,000 MWh

Hydroelectric : 125,000 MWh

Transmission (grid) : 5,412,000 MWh

Distribution (retail) : 1,161,000 MWh

Unallocated (estimate based on average office use) : 160,000 MWh

Total : 14,114,000 MWh

If Ontario Hydro achieved a five per cent reduction in its own energy use and loss, the energy savings would be about 700,000 MWh annually.


How much energy could be saved by demand management programs between now and the year 2000?

Hydro's own estimates (A Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development and Use for Ontario Hydro, October 1993, McNeill/Runnalls):

Sector MW of potential electrical efficiency improvement Savings as a percentage of basic load
Residential 1,589 6.5
Commercial 1,594 6.5
Industrial 739 3.0
Total: 3,922 16.0%


Carbon dioxide Reduction Options for Ontario, A Discussion Paper
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, September 1996

According to Energy Research Group (ERG), School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University:

"There is the potential to reduce Ontario's carbon dioxide emissions in the years 2000 and 2005 by more than 20 per cent relative to the business as usual forecast and save money."


1. The aggressive promotion of energy efficiency and end-use fuel switching could reduce Ontario's stationary CO2 emissions by 28 per cent and 21 per cent in 2000 and 2005 relative to the 1990 and 1988 levels respectively and reduce the energy costs of Ontario's residential, commercial and industrial energy consumers.

2. The aggressive promotion of energy efficiency and end-use fuel switching could cost-effectively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of residential consumers in 2005 by 25 per cent relative to the 1990 level.

3. The aggressive promotion of the energy efficiency and end-use fuel switching could cost-effectively reduce Ontario's electricity-related CO2 emissions by 60 per cent in 2005 relative to the 1990 level.


Degrees of Change: Steps towards an Ontario Global Warming Strategy
Ontario Global Warming Coalition, June 1991

- Summary of estimated Ontario's CO2 reduction 1988 - 2005

Sector 1988
PJ Mt PJ Mt Mt
Residential 473 29.3 453 19.3 10 -34%
Commercial 188 11.9 205 6.5 6 -46%
Transport 295 20.0 223 13.5 6 -33%
Industry 925 63.3 971 54.1 10 -15%
Total 1,881 124.5 1,852 93.4 32 -25%



- all new houses are built to Advanced House standards by 2005

- space heating needs in 75 per cent of existing homes are cut by 25 per cent by 2005 by retrofitting a combination of air sealing, insulation, improved windows, and high efficiency furnaces

- electric appliances will be replaced by models 20 - 40 per cent more efficient

- thirty per cent of existing houses will get their domestic hot water from solar hot water heaters


- all new commercial buildings use half the energy per metre of floorspace as the existing stock of buildings by 2005

- space heating needs in 50 per cent of the commercial building stock are cut by 20 per cent by 2005

- high efficiency lighting retrofit of 75 per cent of the existing building stock reduces electricity use from lighting loads by 60 per cent;

- a reduction in energy use from plug load of 20 per cent by 2005, through efficiency improvements in office equipment, computers,etc.,

- downtown Toronto buildings connnected to the city's district heating system are cooled during the summer with cold lake water using a concept called Freecool.


- all wood used for energy in the pulp and paper industry is cultivated on a 100 per cent renewable basis, permitting the CO2 directly emitted to be reabsorbed in biomass growth that occurs as a result of selective harvesting practices that allow natural regeneration combined with adequate silviculture

- industrial heat is cut 25 per cent and cogenerations full economic potential is realized;

- motive power use is cut an average of 27 per cent throughout industry.

These and other measures result in a net reduction by 2005 of 31 megatonnes emissions from a 1988 base of 125 Mt, a reduction of 25 per cent by 2005 from that base. At least half of the reductions stem from a significant cut in CO2 emissions rate of electricity due to the substitution of natural gas cogeneration fro coal-fired power, as well as demand-side measures in the electricity sector.