For Immediate Release: April 4, 2006

A Realistic Energy Plan for Toronto

Toronto, ON — After months of discussion about the Portlands Energy Centre (PEC), a 550 megawatt gas-fired power plant being built in Riverdale, a group of residents and energy experts have worked through the details and come up with plan that will meet energy needs and keep the air clean.

The new plan focuses on conservation, demand shifting and the production of cleaner power.

Energy expert and plan co-author Greg Allen says this plan is realistic, sustainable and achievable.

“Taking more responsibility for power is where we need to get to,” says Allen. “In this current situation we need to address the critical issues of supply and this plan works. It also allows us to move towards a sustainable energy future.”

Authors of A Realistic Energy Plan for Toronto are critical of the government’s move to build the plant because once it is constructed the PEC will need to generate and sell much electricity in order to regain public and private investment. Authors of the plan believe this does not leave much space for conservation efforts.

“Toronto actually has enough generation capacity now when you take into account all the energy that goes unused overnight,” Chris Tindal, a plan co-author, explains. “New technologies, such as flow batteries, allow us to store that energy and use it during the day, thereby eliminating the need for new generation.”

The new plan emphasizes the importance of reducing demand but at the same time the construction of flow batteries can cover any energy needs.

“Flow batteries can be scaled to replace the entire PEC,” says plan co-author Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu. “This raises the question of why we’re restricting ourselves to gas plants. A flow battery wins on every argument – cost, time, health and environmental impacts.”

Mugnatto-Hamu says the solutions are easy but we all have to work together.

“I think of crisis as opportunity,” Mugnatto-Hamu reflects. “It focuses people’s minds on what they stand to gain by committing to conservation, and what they stand to lose if they don’t.”

Plan author and sustainable engineer Greg Allen will be speaking about the plan at the St. Lawrence Centre Forum, 27 Front Street East on Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30 pm. The authors will also be available on April 9 from 2-4 pm at a rally against the Portlands plant at the Fire Academy, 895 Eastern Ave.

For more information please contact Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu at or 416-462-3993.

A Realistic Energy Plan for Toronto:
Conservation, Demand Shifting, and Cleaner Power.