Ontario cleaning up its power plants


New York's neighbor to the north is about to shut down all of its coal-fired power plants.

This year, all of the remaining coal plants in the province of Ontario will be shut down except for one small plant that will be kept as a backup for peak demand periods, says an article in Yale Environment 360. Over the past decade, the province has shifted to natural gas-powered plants and renewable energy, says the article.

Ontario's shift is remarkable. It's Canada's most populous province and the seat of its government; it's also geographically massive. So its power policies and practices will have impacts — economic and environmental — beyond its own borders.

New York has enacted some policies that make operating coal plants increasingly unattractive. And some officials are pushing for stronger renewable energy policies. But several coal plants are still in operation. (A coal-fired plant in Dunkirk may re-power to a natural gas system. And a few years ago, Rochester Gas and Electric shut down its coal-fired Russell Station power plant.)