Hamilton·Video

Watch this: Nanticoke powerhouse demolished in a cloud of smoke

The video shows a series of charges exploding near the base of three separate sites, before the blasts become more rapid fire and the facilities collapse, releasing billowing clouds of brown and grey smoke and dust.

The Nanticoke Generating Station burned its last piece of coal in 2013

The Nanticoke Powerhouse was demolished by Ontario Power Generation Thursday morning. (AIM-DELSAN/CONCRETE PICTURES)

The Nanticoke powerhouse has gone up in a cloud of smoke.

A video shot by AIM-DELSAN/CONCRETE PICTURES shows a series of charges exploding near the base of three separate sites, before the blasts become more rapid fire and the facilities collapse, releasing billowing clouds of brown and grey smoke and dust.

The 11-storey building, which covered more than eight and a half football fields was demolished at 8 a.m. Thursday.

It was part of the Nanticoke Generating Station which, with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts at peak operations, was once the largest coal-fired power plant in the world, according to Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

The Crown corporation said the generating station used to produce almost 1,000 megawatts more than the current capacity of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, adding Nanticoke put out a "significant amount" of the province's baseload power throughout the late 1990s.

More than 600 people once worked at the facility.

"The closure of Nanticoke Generating Station remains one of North America's single largest climate change initiatives." stated Mike Martelli, president of renewable generation for the OPG in a media release. "Building and sustaining a clean, low cost electricity system is fundamental to a healthy environment and a strong, low-carbon economy."

The OPG says replacing coal-fired electricity was the "equivalent of taking up to seven million cars off the road" and has helped reduce emissions of toxic substances, such as mercury and black carbon, and cut down on the number of smog days in Ontario.

The plant burned its last piece of coal on Dec. 31, 2013 after producing power for more than 40 years.

It was replaced with the Nanticoke Solar Project, developed by the OPG in partnership with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

The OPG says the 200,000-panel site has a generating capacity of 44 megawatts and was online as of March 29, 2019.

"I want to thank all of the employees that contributed to the legacy of a high performing station and the community for their decades of support," said Martelli in the media release, adding he wanted to "ensure residents that Nanticoke Solar is a continuation of OPG's rich legacy of generating electricity in their backyard."

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