January 21, 2016 – To boost economic activity, create jobs and help fight climate change, the Ontario Government announced earlier this month that Ontario is moving forward with nuclear refurbishment at Darlington Generating Station, securing 3,500 megawatts of affordable, reliable, and emission-free power.
It also announced that OPG will work with the Ministry of Energy, the Independent Electricity System Operator and the Ontario Energy Board to pursue continued operation of the Pickering Station to 2024, pending approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
PHOTO: Ontario Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli (r) and Jeffrey Lyash, President and CEO, Ontario Power Generation (l) field questions from reporters at the Darlington Energy Complex in Clarington on the future of nuclear in Durham Region.
In announcing the nuclear refurbishment at Darlington Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli stated, “Proceeding with the refurbishment at Darlington will ensure that nuclear continues to be Ontario’s single largest source of power. The Darlington refurbishment project will create up to 11,800 jobs annually and contribute $15 billion to Ontario’s GDP. Continuing operations at Pickering will protect 4,500 jobs across the Durham Region, provide emissions-free electricity, and save Ontario electricity consumers up to $600 million."
The refurbishment of all four units is expected to involve about 30 million hours of work over 10 years and will support Ontario’s globally recognized CANDU nuclear supply chain, with more than 180 companies employing thousands of highly skilled workers.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is on track to begin refurbishment of the first unit at Darlington in October 2016. Jeffrey Lyash, President and CEO, Ontario Power Generation stated, "Refurbishing Darlington is an investment in Ontario. It’s good for the customers, it’s good for the economy and it’s good for the environment. We’re confident we have done the work and have the people in place to deliver this project safely, on schedule and on budget."
To best protect Ontario ratepayers and ensure OPG delivers refurbishment on-time and on-budget, the government has established off-ramps that require OPG to obtain government approval prior to proceeding with each of the remaining unit refurbishments. The budget for the project is $12.8 billion, about $1.2 billion less than originally projected by OPG, and all four units are scheduled for completion by 2026.
The Province has also approved OPG’s plan to pursue continued operation of the Pickering Generating Station beyond 2020 up to 2024, which would protect 4,500 jobs across the Durham region, avoid 8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and save Ontario electricity consumers up to $600 million. OPG will engage with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Ontario Energy Board to seek approvals required for the continued operation of Pickering Generating Station.
Of particular interest to the Ontario business community and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are the supply chain jobs to be generated across the province as a result of nuclear investment. Allan O’Dette, President of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on hand for the announcement noted, “Ninety-six percent of the Darlington project’s direct expenditures will take place in Ontario. Capturing this spending within the province ensures that the associated multiplier effect benefits Ontario communities, through increased consumer spending and activity in sectors like real estate and retail, and related industries.”
Securing clean, reliable power for decades to come is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
“With these investments, nuclear will continue its role in ensuring Ontarians have enough power when and where they need it. The plan to refurbish the Darlington nuclear units and to keep Pickering in operation longer during the refurbishment period is a cost effective way to meet our future power needs,” stated Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, Independent Electricity System Operator.
The $12.8 billion investment in Darlington refurbishment will:
• result in an increase of 8,800 jobs per year from 2010 to 2026;
• generate $14.9 billion in economic benefits to Ontario.
• boost household income in Ontario by $8.5 billion;
• result in more than 60 companies from 25 communities being directly engaged in the project;
• approximately 96 per cent of the project's suppliers are based in Ontario.
Operating Pickering until 2024 would:
• ensure a reliable, clean source of base load electricity during the Darlington and initial Bruce refurbishments
• mean a cost savings of up to $600 million for Ontario electricity customers;
• mean an estimated eight million tonnes reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions; and
• create 4,500 jobs in Durham Region and supporting Ontario's nuclear supply chain.