Trenton Generating Station
|Trenton Generating Station|
The Trenton Generating Station viewed from the east.
|Location||Trenton, Nova Scotia|
|Owner(s)||Nova Scotia Power|
|Nameplate capacity||310 MW|
A thermal generating station, Trenton was opened on the bank of the East River of Trenton by then-provincial Crown corporation Nova Scotia Power Corporation in 1969. It was designed to burn coal mined nearby in Pictou County as well as on Cape Breton Island.
The plant burns coal and features two boilers and two chimneys; one 150-metres and one 100-metres. The plant consumes 0.8 million tonnes of coal per year and currently generates approximately 12% of the province's electricity and produces roughly 10% of the province's air pollution, including hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, hexachlorobenzene and mercury.
Emissions from the station in the form of particulates are a frequent source of pollution complaints in the neighbourhood and region. However, both Trenton units have electrostatic precipitators designed to capture 99% of fly ash emissions from coal burning.
From its inception in 1969 until 2001, Trenton's coal was largely sourced on Cape Breton Island from the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO). Coal was transported to Trenton from Sydney by rail using CN Rail and later the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway.
During the fall-winter-spring of 1991-1992, the generating station burnt locally mined coal from the Westray Mine, located several kilometres south of the plant; the mine was permanently closed on May 9, 1992 after a disastrous methane gas explosion destroyed the mine, killing 26 workers.
Following the closure of DEVCO mines in 2001, Trenton GS has been supplied with coal imported from the United States and South America, shipped to a bulk unloading terminal on the Strait of Canso at Point Tupper, then taken by CB&CNS trains to Trenton. The plant is equipped to receive coal from barges entering from the Northumberland Strait through Pictou Harbour; the Trenton Connector Road runs immediately north of the plant and is equipped with a draw-bridge over the East River of Pictou, although it is rarely operated. Trenton GS also burns coal currently (2010) being mined at a strip mine in Stellarton which is part of a reclamation project for land that was previously the location of an underground mine.