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North Bay data storage centre doesn’t compute with power producer

Atlantic Power denies its idled gas plant will house data centre tenant
north bay power plant cd jan2011
Atlantic Power's idled North Bay power plant on Highway 11. (BayToday photo)

An American electricity producer is denying that a data centre tenant is moving into its idled North Bay power plant.

Atlantic Power responded to a local media report that a consultant working for them had told North Bay city council on Aug. 14 of an unnamed data storage firm being a potential tenant for its Highway 11 property. 

In an Aug. 17 release, the Dedham, Mass. company indicates this is incorrect.

Council had heard from a city planning official that Atlantic Power had applied for a change in zoning for the plant. This information, the company indicates, is correct.

Atlantic Power is marketing both its shuttered North Bay and Kapuskasing power plants to a “range of potential customers or alternate users of the sites.

“The company wishes to correct this misstatement by the consultant by indicating that it does not have any agreements in place or any prospective agreements for either the North Bay or Kapuskasing plants. Although its marketing efforts are continuing, discussions have not progressed beyond an initial stage. The company has no plans to re-start operations at either plant in the near term.”

Both the North Bay and Kapuskasing plants are 40-megawatt gas fired generating stations that are currently not use.

Atlantic Power shut down both plants and its Nipigon generating station in January 2017 due to an oversupply of electricity in the Ontario market.

The company had sold to power to the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (OEFC) under a supply agreement that was scheduled to expire at the end of December 2017. The OEFC and Atlantic Power worked out an arrangement to terminate the agreement. 

Atlantic Power said it has the option of returning the plants to service should market conditions improve, but that’s unlikely to happen at any time soon given the forecast for supply and demand in Ontario. 

The Nipigon generating station, however, will come back on line on a "flexible basis" in November, thanks to a new contract with the province that runs through to 2022.