As I mentioned in my previous post, our host Craig Symington lined up some pretty spectacular tours for us this time around. First on the agenda was Ontario Power Generation’s Thunder Bay Generating Station. It began operations in 1953 as a coal-burning power plant, but was converted over to compressed wood pellets in 2014 and is now the world’s first and largest biomass power plant. It runs only 10 days out of the year, providing power during times of peak demand.
Wearing hard hats and safety glasses, we spent well over an hour following our tour guide around the plant, making our way through a maze of pipes and steel grate flooring, climbing stairs and taking the elevator to a level 200 feet up (did I mention steel grating floors are see through?), standing in the main stack looking up at the three 660 foot towering stacks, and visiting the modern control room with many display panels and stations, all run by a Commodore C-64 (seriously!)
Amazingly we were allowed to take pictures of anything except the workers. They tend to get a bit edgy if their photos are taken. Here are some of the several dozen photos I took.