Napanee Generating Station expansion only local energy project selected for IESO contract

Atura Power, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), is planning to expand the electricity generation capacity of its Napanee Generating Station (NGS). The proposed expansion is located north of the Lake Ontario shoreline in Greater Napanee, between the existing NGS and Lennox Generating Station. Image courtesy of Atura.

Despite the support of Kingston City Council and Greater Napanee Town Council, only one of several proposed local energy projects will receive a contract offer from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

Napanee Town Clerk Jessica Walters published a report entitled ‘IESO Procurement Update’ in advance of the regular meeting of the Greater Napanee Town Council to be held this evening, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. That report states that, of all the local projects that received supportive resolutions from Council on November 28, 2023, only the natural gas expansion at the Napanee Generating Station was selected. 

The clerk’s report comes on the heels of the IESO’s Resource Adequacy Update for May 2024. That update indicates that IESO’s first long-term procurement under the Resource Adequacy Framework is now complete. As a result, the IESO successfully added 1,784 megawatts (MW) of storage and 411 MW of non-storage capacity to Ontario’s grid to meet the targeted year-round capacity coming into service between 2026 and 2028. Locally, only the Napanee Generating Station expansion project proposed by Portlands Energy Centre L.P. (doing business as Atura Power) is being offered a contract.

In an attempt to procure up to 2m518 MW of year-round capacity competitively, the IESO accepted long-term request for proposal (RFP) applications from September 29 through December 12, 2023. Kingston City Council and Greater Napanee Town Council supported several projects proposed in the area; a demonstration of municipal council support in the application would, “in principle,” provide an advantage to local applicants by allowing them to gain additional points in the procurement process.

According to its website, Atura Power, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), plans to expand the electricity generation capacity of its Napanee Generating Station (NGS). The proposed expansion is located between the existing NGS and Lennox Generating Station. 

The expansion will add a hydrogen-ready simple cycle combustion turbine generator unit that will provide up to 430 MW of electricity output to Ontario’s electricity grid. Atura Power also plans to construct a Napanee Battery Energy Storage System.

Atura Power submitted an application to the IESO in December 2023 as part of the RFP procurement process. According to their website, a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project has begun.

Building capacity for Ontario’s electricity grid

Atura states, “After more than a decade of strong supply, Ontario is entering a period of emerging electricity system needs, driven by increasing demand, the refurbishment of existing generating assets, as well as expiring contracts for other electricity-producing facilities. The proposed Napanee Generating Station Expansion will increase Ontario’s electricity generation, support grid reliability, and help advance Ontario’s path to a net-zero future.”

A Notice of Commencement of an Environmental Review and Invitation to a Public Meeting was issued on April 8, 2024, to communicate the start of the Environmental Review Process.

According to the notice, pursuant to Ontario Regulation 50/24: Part II.3 Projects, under the Environmental Assessment Act, Atura Power voluntarily elected to undergo a “Category B” Environmental Review as described in the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks ‘Guide to Environmental Assessment Requirements for Electricity Projects’ (February 2024). 

Per the regulations, following the conclusion of the environmental review, an environmental review report (ERR) will be made available for a 30-day public review period. The report will include a review of existing conditions, potential effects, mitigation measures, and document engagement activities and input from Indigenous communities, the public, and other stakeholders.

According to the notice and invitation, “Atura Power is committed to engaging Indigenous communities, the public and other stakeholders on all our projects. We invite you to attend an upcoming public meeting to learn more about the project and provide feedback.”

The Public Meeting will occur Thursday, May 16, 2024, from 4 to 8 p.m. at South Fredericksburgh Hall, located at 2478 County Road 8 in Greater Napanee. Meeting materials will also be posted on the project webpage for review following the meeting. 

Anyone who has accommodation needs for the public meeting, requires the documents in an alternative format, or simply has questions about the project can use the online contact form or email [email protected]. For more information, visit Atura’s Napanee Generating Station Expansion webpage.

The May 14, 2024 meeting of the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee can be viewed virtually (or watched afterward) on the Napanee Town Council YouTube channel or attended in person in Council Chambers at Napanee Town Hall, 124 John Street. Further information about Council meetings, including agendas and reports, is available on the Town’s CivicWeb portal.

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