THUNDER BAY – Decisions on a power plan are continuing. Officials from the City of Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario Municipal League (NOMA) and Fort William First Nation met Thursday with Chris Bentley Ontario’s Minister of Energy along with officials from Ontario Power Authority (OPA). The meeting was to present and discuss the comprehensive energy needs of the region.
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said, “It’s encouraging that Minister Bentley took time out of his busy schedule to attend this meeting. The Energy Task Force and the OPA had a very engaging session and have identified the areas where we are on the same page and where we differ. We were under the impression that a resolve would not happen today and that much more dialogue has to take place on a regular basis, and we intend to do that”.
Members of the Energy Task Force presented an overview of the implications of the current and future supply of energy requirements, the historical and projected load analysis and comparisons of the numbers that OPA is supplying compared to the task force.
“The mining companies that are looking at Northwestern Ontario need certainty in our energy for them to invest here and produce their products,” commented Councillor Iain Angus, the Co-Chair of the Energy Task Force. “From our perspective we want to make sure that we have the power we need when we need it, and the closure of the Thunder Bay Generating Station will create a gap.”
The group’s requests included retaining the Thunder Bay Generating Station (TBGS), immediately converting it to natural gas and operate the facility to full capacity.
The Ontario Government has delayed that change, and has legal action pending from Union Gas over the cancellation of the conversion project.
Thunder Bay also wants to develop supply plans to meet several future deadlines, develop contingency plans for the full development of the Ring of Fire and develop and implement transmission links to key communities in the region.
All sides in the meeting say that future talks will be needed before solutions and decisions will be made.