OPG wants a 69% raise for nuclear power

Would add $5.25 a month to bills after five years.

TORONTO — Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has applied for a whopping 69% increase in the amount it is paid for nuclear power over the next five years.

OPG says it needs the increase to help pay for the $12.8-billion refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear station, which the government announced in January to extend the life of the reactors by another 30 years.

The government-owned utility is also asking for a small increase – less than the rate of inflation – in the rate it’s paid for hydro-electric power.

OPG spokesman Neal Kelly says if the entire request is approved, it would increase a typical household electricity bill an average of $1.05 a month annually in each of the next five years, to $5.25 a month in 2022.

The Ontario Energy Board will hold a public hearing into OPG’s rate increase application, but Kelley says he doesn’t expect a decision until mid-2017.

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance says OPG’s application shows it wants nine cents a kilowatt hour for the power produced from Darlington, which is more expensive than the 8.6 cents a kwh it pays for wind power.

“Our electricity rates are already too high, and we shouldn’t increase them even further when we can actually lower our bills by choosing a cleaner and safer option,” said Alliance chair Jack Gibbons.

“Why are we putting our children at risk of a nuclear accident when there are lower-cost options?”

Gibbons said Ontario should also consider signing long-term contracts to import more clean, renewable electricity from Quebec to offset the nuclear generation.

Ontario generates about 50% of its electricity from nuclear power, and Premier Kathleen Wynne has said she wants to keep it that way. Wind power adds less than 5% to the energy supply mix.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said OPG did extensive public consultations explaining it needs the rate increase to make the electricity system more reliable.

“More will come down the road in terms of the progression of the (nuclear) reburbishments, so that was expected,” he said.

In addition to the Darlington refurbishment, which is supposed to extend its life until 2050, OPG is also undertaking work to squeeze about four more years of life out of reactors at the Pickering nuclear generating station.

And Bruce Power is spending $13 billion to refurbish six reactors at the nuclear generating station it operates under contract to the government near Kincardine.

OPG is the only electricity generator that has to apply to the OEB for rate increases. All the other suppliers have long-term contracts with the province.

Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to stop burning coal to generate electricity when it shut down the last plant in 2014.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016
4 Comments » for OPG wants a 69% raise for nuclear power
  1. Mary Lynn says:

    Why did we build all those wind turbines? What an absolute waste of taxpayers dollars. There must be other ways they can raise that money. All my hydro bill has done is gone up no matter how much I cut down on using electricity. Meanwhile those that sit on OPG board are being paid alot of money to make very very dumb decisions all the time. I as a taxpayer am tired of this and I don’t have a money tree to keep paying for their whims. Darlington should have been fixed then before building the turbines. Come on folks.

  2. Randy says:

    Qubec is not the only place that produces clean hydro. Manitoba could easily be added to the mix. Unfortunately the Liberal 1%ers operating OPG would become unemployed as their jobs would no longer be needed. This intern would result in lost revenue to the Liberal partiecoffers in the form of donations from the corporation and therefore, the bottom line of a corrupt political party takes priority over providing real clean energy at a cheaper price. Politics and coruption take presedence with Liberal governments. It’s much easier to fleece the public than to do real work and earn the donations needed to operate a corupt Liberal government. In the end the Liberal government will continue to make poor energy decisions in effort to peserve their entitlements and corupt ways.

  3. Carole Rier says:

    The people that sit on the board and in government do not have to worry about paying their bills. The more Ontario citizens save on using electricity, the less the corporation takes in and must raise rates. It is a merry-go-round. The middle class is disappearing and eventually Canada will turn into a third world country.

  4. Randy says:

    If one takes into account OPG is very poorly managed, it should be expected that all managing executives should be taking pay cuts for the same purpose they claim the need for rate hikes. Let’s start at 69%. Where is the contingency fund put aside from profits to refurbish the plant. Are we to believe these very well paid executives squndered their profits and now need rate payers to bail them out. Where was the over sight? Why has this been allowed to happen? Where is the government over sight? Either we have a gross mismanagement of which all should be fired or we have a huge problem with a crown corporation demonstrating yet again the gross mismanagement not just at OPG but as well within the Wynne Liberal government. I’m not buying the infastructure crumbling line. As a crown corporation there has to be checks and balance. The only other rational of there being no money is that the Liberal government of Wynne has stolen these funds for another one of thier failed scemes. In any case there is gross mismanagement and both the Wynne government and OPG exectutives should answer with termination of services.

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