In a first for the industry, Bruce Power, in collaboration with GHD, has created the first carbon offset protocol for nuclear generation.
Bruce Power’s Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, Pat Dalzell, announced the offset protocol Dec. 6 as part of the Canadian delegation at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai.
“This groundbreaking carbon offset protocol is yet another step in the right direction for the nuclear industry as a clean energy leader,” Dalzell said. “Hot off the heels of the first sale of Clean Energy Credits in Ontario, Bruce Power is taking this next step to help battle climate change and achieve net zero goals while creating economic benefits for Canadian companies going forward.”
Based on Bruce Power’s experience through its commitment to reaching net zero by 2027, its success in working with financial institutions related to its Green Bond program, and its active participation in Ontario’s Clean Energy Credit program, the company understands the importance of clean energy credits and carbon offsets being tangible, additional (supporting development of clean energy) and credible (validated and accredited).
“Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world, thanks in large part to a clean baseload supply of nuclear energy,” said Ontario Minister of Energy, the Hon. Todd Smith. “Bruce Power was instrumental in helping Ontario move away from coal-fired generation almost a decade ago, and this announcement is another example of the leadership role Ontario’s nuclear industry continues to play on the global stage.”
“Nuclear energy can play a key role in decarbonizing our economy and ensuring the resilience of Ontario’s energy supply mix,” said Hon. Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Supporting strategic investments in nuclear power today is one of the ways Ontario is securing a more sustainable future, for the environment and future generations.”
Nuclear power provides a clean energy alternative to fossil fuel electricity generation while also providing broad impacts to the stability of the connected grid. The focus of the new protocol, which is currently under third-party validation, is to capitalize on clean nuclear generation to meet the increasing demands and allow consumers and business continue to decarbonize through electrification. It is intended to replace fossil-fuel generated electricity and offset carbon-intensive generation through additional incremental output of existing nuclear power generation facilities and potential new nuclear.
Bruce Power has been working with GHD, a global professional services company specializing in energy and resources, to develop the protocol and demonstrate the role the energy sector and nuclear power can play in the transition to a zero-carbon economy in Ontario.
“Nuclear will play an integral role in the transformation as Ontario looks to further decarbonize its economy and meet its greenhouse gas and pollution reduction commitments,” said Tej Gidda, Future Energy Global Lead, GHD. “We’re proud to partner with Bruce Power in the development of this carbon offset protocol to help avoid emissions.
Bruce Power’s increased output could be based on, but not limited to, improved efficiency, equipment replacements, upgrades, and technological advancements of existing systems that does not result in additional generation of greenhouse gases to produce additional electrical output.
Bruce Power’s Project 2030 is a program of replacements and upgrades across the Bruce Generating Nuclear units to optimize output from existing assets and projects. The company’s investment in a series of incremental power recovery projects under Project 2030 aims to increase annual power output from its current level of 6,550 megawatts (MW) to 7,000 MW through the 2030s.
This will increase the amount of low-carbon nuclear electricity generated at the Bruce Power site, and thereby decrease the regional consumption of emissions-intensive electricity generated using natural gas. The objectives of the project are as follows:
- Reduce the emissions intensity of Ontario’s electricity grid by displacing a portion of electricity produced by natural gas fired generating stations.
- Increase the resilience of Ontario’s electricity grid through diversifying the production mix.
- Support Ontario’s goals as outlined by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in the document Pathways to Decarbonization: A report to the Minister of Energy to evaluate a moratorium on new natural gas generation in Ontario and to develop a pathway to zero emissions in the electricity sector.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable nuclear power to families and businesses across the province and cancer-fighting medical isotopes around the world. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OMERS, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.