Ontario’s Rebuilt Nuclear Stations Cost More Than Quebec Hydropower
Ontario ratepayers would pay less for electricity, and Quebec would get a better price for its existing hydropower resources, if the two Canadian provinces entered into a long-term power purchase agreement to replace electricity from the aging Darlington and Bruce nuclear stations, according to research by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.
With the Darlington overhaul already running $300 million over budget, OCAA said the province could pay 6¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for Quebec hydro and still pay less than the 8.9¢ it would cost to rebuild Darlington under Ontario Power Generation’s “high-confidence” estimate. If capital costs for the Darlington rebuild exceeded that estimate by 2.5 times, the cost per kWh would balloon to 16.6¢. OCAA explains that it chose that escalator because “every major nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone massively over budget—on average by 2.5 times.” As usual, energy efficiency emerged as Ontario’s best long-term deal, at 3.5¢/kWh replaced.