Friday, March 17, 2006

Portlands power - NDP on the back foot

The problem Peter Tabuns has is that he doesn't want a portlands power plant at all. However, since the NDP declined to evict Hizzoner (as was Hargrove), Miller still having his NDP party card makes it tricky for Tabuns to fully disown him since our Mayor has gone and backed the "Toronto Waterfront Clean Energy Centre" joint venture between city-owned Toronto Hydro and US firm Constellation Energy Group over the rival "Portlands Energy Centre".

However, a few new snags have arisen -
  • the lease on the Hearn (currently to a film studio) does not permit power generation.
  • the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (which includes Toronto Hydro as a member, ironically) says the current Hearn plan, a simple cycle non-co-gen station is less efficient on a pollution per watt basis than the PEC combined cycle bid. It does mention that with steam for district heating (co-generation) the TWCEC would be more efficient than the PEC, but that implies the PEC would not be able to do likewise, for if they did the PEC is back in front. The PEC previously claimed Enwave were not interested in the steam but it would be a good thing if a way was found to use it during the redevelopment of the waterfront precincts.
As the previously linked press release shows, Ben Chin is betting on more people voting for their electric dryers than aversion to a power plant - the man he hopes to have as his boss hopes it will close Nanticoke sooner. Tabuns has issued his own release reacting to Chin's. It will be interesting to see how much impact this will have on polling day - I feel Tabuns lawn sign count is ahead of Chin's but not by an enormous margin in my neighbourhood.

Here's the OCAA release. (PDF, 3 pages)
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