It'll be about two years before Charlottetown's smoke stacks are demolished, Maritime Electric says

·2 min read

Maritime Electric plans to start demolishing the smoke stacks in Charlottetown in 2022.

"The facility's just so old," company CEO Jason Roberts said. "Our goal is to have it fully decommissioned and the site cleaned up by the end of 2023."

The company had applied to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) a few years ago to decommission that portion of Charlottetown's thermal generating station located near the waterfront.

The building affiliated with the stacks is also slated for demolition. It houses what Maritime Electric refers to as its old steam plant, Roberts told The Guardian in a recent interview.

"That equipment, after the end of 2021, will no longer be in service," he said. "So subject to the commission's further decision, we expect that we'll be tearing that building down as well."

The system used to make use of a fuel oil called Bunker C, which is known to pollute the environment and has become difficult to obtain.

"It's like molasses. You have to warm it up to burn it," Roberts said. "And we're very focused on reducing our carbon footprint."

Considering that the building and stacks are located so close to the rest of the station, their safe demolition is a real issue for Maritime Electric as they can't simply be knocked over, he said.

The stacks have to be carefully taken down from top to bottom, making it more time-consuming. The company's currently conducting environmental assessments and has started reaching out to area residents to give them notice and hear feedback.

"It's not a very straightforward process. It's a challenging undertaking," Roberts said.

The other key components to the Charlottetown station will remain. They include a combustion turbine, a 24/7 energy controlling station and a substation that distributes energy throughout Charlottetown and parts of eastern P.E.I.

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Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian