Atikokan fires up on biomass

By Staff | November 03, 2014

Ontario Power Generation’s Aitkokan Generating Station began operating on biomass in September, becoming the largest plant in North America to be fueled with 100 percent biomass. The facility burned its last coal Sept. 11, 2012, and began converting to biomass in mid-2012.

The conversion project included construction of two 5,000-metric-ton capacity storage silos for wood pellets. Modifications were also made to the boiler and a new distributed controls system was required. In addition, new truck receiving and transfer infrastructure was built.

OPG has fuel contract supplies in place with Rentech Inc. and Resolute Forest Products Canada. Each company will supply 45,000 metric tons of wood pellets to the facility annually.

Efforts are also underway to convert another of OPG’s coal-fired plants to biomass. In April, OPG’s Thunder Bay Generating Station burned its last supply of coal. The facility is expected to be converted to advanced biomass by January.