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2005 04 12
Power Generation and Urban Design
imageOPG is committed to becoming a sustainable energy company. We intend to achieve sustainability by reducing our impact on the environment, by creating long-term shareholder value, and through community involvement.

Introduction to the "Towards Sustainable Development" Report by Ontario Power Generation, 2000.

Does building a new gas fired power generator in the Portlands represent the best in 21st Century urban design and planning? Probably not. The initial proposal had a certain green allure. There was to be a co-generation benefit where hot steam produced by the plant's boilers would heat downtown buildings much like the lake's cold water is now cooling them. There were to be solar panels. The gas fired generator would reduce the coal-fired emissions now produced by generators west of the city. As the project nears approval though the co-generation and solar functions are nowhere to be seen.

Is that a problem? Plans to rejuvenate the Portlands are premised on a vision of a modern city. Modern cities can and must acknowledge the long term environmental impact of their planning decisions. Our use of coal produced electricity is a primary cause of Toronto's smog. Using more efficient natural gas would help reduce pollutants. But is that enough? Where possible we have to make our energy decisions based on state-of-the-art technologies and information. Toronto wants to be a leader in community design and environmentalism. This is an opportunity to take a first step. If we're going to have a downtown generation facility let's make sure it is designed to meet long-term environmental standards not politically expedient rationalizations.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 04/12 at 03:49 PM

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