Province now has a large electricity surplus

July 31, 2012     Ontario’s electricity costs can be reduced by up to $1.2 billion per year or 7.6% by closing down money-losing coal plants and the high-cost Pickering Nuclear Station according to a report released by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) today.

 The Pickering A Nuclear Station is the highest cost nuclear power plants in North America, and the Pickering B Station is the fifth highest, according to a report prepared for Ontario Power Generation by ScottMadden Inc.  Pickering A’s fuel and operating costs alone are more than four times Ontario’s market price of electricity.  Pickering B’s fuel and operating costs are more than double the current market price of electricity.

 With the province currently enjoying a large electricity surplus, there has never been a better time to shut down these money-losing generating stations.  Lower cost options such as better utilization of under used natural gas plants, stronger rewards for peak demand reductions, and increasing imports of cheap hydro from Quebec can easily meet the province’s needs. 

 “These sources are not only cheaper than continuing to run the Pickering station, they are also more flexible, meaning the absurd situation of having to pay out-of-province buyers to take our surplus power due to the need to keep nuclear plants operating will be curbed,” notes Jack Gibbons, Chair of the OCAA.

 “Energy Minister, Chris Bentley, should direct the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator to complete the  phase-out of our high-cost and superfluous coal-fired power plants, and to start the phase out of the Pickering Nuclear Station as soon as practically possible,” Gibbons concludes.

 The OCAA report, Ontario’s Electricity Surplus: An Opportunity to Reduce Costs, can be downloaded here.