Going clean and green: abandoned iron ore mine transforming into hydro plant

In the Canadian province of Ontario, Toronto-based company Northland Power plans to turn an old steel mine into a 400 megawatt (MW) pumped hydro power storage facility.

Northland — a clean energy developer — says that the proposed project will "facilitate the energy storage and the integration of wind and solar power generation onto Ontario's grid, and enable the company to pocket the difference between peak and off-peak electricity prices along the way."

Northland is one among many Ontario clean-tech companies leading Canada forward in renewable energy development. In 2009, the province passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, which includes a renewable energy feed-in tariff (FIT).

“The proposed feed-in tariff program would help spark new investment in renewable energy generation and create a new generation of green jobs,” said George Smitherman, Ontario's deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure at the time.

So far the program has been successful. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has finalized 1,728 FIT contracts with "rated electrical power generation capacity totaling more than 4.5 gigawatts (GW)," according to the 2012 Q4 FIT program report.

Roughly 30% of companies with OPA FIT contracts are in commercial operation.

To read more about Ontario's FIT program, click here.