OPG seeking permission to increase nuclear power costs by 11 increase

ONTARIO—Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is seeking permission from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to increase the price of its nuclear power by 11 percent per year for each of the next 10 years, according to Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA).

OPG wants to raise its price for nuclear power from 5.9 cents per kilowatt kWh in 2016 to 16.8 cents per kWh in 2026. That means the rate in 2026 will be almost triple (2.8 times greater) than today’s price, a release notes.

According to OPG, the price increases are needed to finance the continued operation of its high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station and to rebuild the Darlington Nuclear Station.

OPG’s proposed price increases are based on the assumption that its $12.8 billion Darlington re-build project will be completed on time and on budget. Of course, every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has been massively over budget, on average by 2.5 times. If history repeats itself, the price of nuclear power will rise by much more than three times by 2026, the OCAA release says.

“Now that OPG has had to start to come clean on the real costs of keeping its aging nuclear fleet running, we can clearly see that sticking with nuclear power will  be a costly choice for Ontario,” the OCAA release says. “Meanwhile, our neighbours in Quebec are sitting on a growing surplus of truly low-cost water power-a surplus that could easily be increased even further by improving Quebec’s energy efficiency.”

“It’s time for Ontario to get off the out of control escalator and make some more sensible choices, such as importing power from Quebec and exploiting our own low-cost energy efficiency potential,” the OCAA release continues. “At a  time when the provincial government is dipping into its own tax revenues to try to keep electricity rates down, it doesn’t make sense to bank on the one source of electricity where costs are skyrocketing.”