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Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced that the province will shut down 17 of 19 coal plants by the end of this year and eliminate coal as a source of electricity production by the end of 2014.

The last of the coal plants in the southern part of the province will be retired by the end of this year - a year ahead of schedule.

The early closure of Ontario's two largest coal-fired electricity plants, Nanticoke and Lambton, comes as a result of the province's improved, smarter electricity grid, increased efficiency, strong conservation efforts and diversified supply of clean energy, the provincial government says.



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