Lambton Generating Station may go solar



There may soon be a solar farm on the former coal pile at Lambton Generating Station.

The Ontario Power Authority is working on an application to the Integrated Electric System Operator for a 30-megawatt project in Courtright.

OPG is one of 42 companies approved by the government to bid for the large-scale renewable projects this September.

OPG Spokesperson Neal Kelly says the Courtright project is one of three the company is contemplating at their power facilities; the others are in Nanticoke and Lennox.

“OPG is a new player in the world of solar,” Kelly told The Independent. “But we bring a wealth of expertise in management of a power system and bring in large scale projects on time and on budget.”

In its Notice of Proposal, OPG says the ground mounted solar panels will be located just to the south of the now shuttered Lambton Generating Station, ironically right where LGS used to store the coal to burn at the plant. The Ontario government phased out all coal-burning power generation as it moved toward greener energy in the late 90s and into 2000.

“The Lambton site is a strategic site,” says Kelly. “It has been a generating site for decades and served the people of St. Clair Township well. It is no longer burns coal; it no longer is in operation as the four unites are in a safe storage situation. At some point, it is possible if our shareholders decide we want to bring units back on line with a cleaner burning fuel, that could happen.

“But right now, OPG is looking at using our lands around the province for different types of energy projects.

“Lambton Generating Station has been in operation for decades and the community around it is well educated about producing energy on that site. There is a willing community around it.”

Kelly says OPG hopes to have its application for the project into the IESO by late June. If it is approved, the project in Courtright will be the second largest solar site in Lambton county – the first being the Enbridge Solar project in Sarnia with 80 megawatts of power.