The electricity generated from Bruce Power nuclear is among the lowest cost generation in the province and provides price stability for Ontario families and businesses.
Like most generators in Ontario, Bruce Power’s price for output is controlled by the province through a contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). In 2013, the average price paid for output from the Bruce Power site was 6.2 cents per kilowatt hour (Kwh) – a very low cost supply source for the province.
The price paid for Bruce Power nuclear includes $7 billion of private investment over the last decade into publicly-owned assets, which includes the refurbished capacity from Units 1 and 2 and a wide range of other investments to extend and optimize the output from the site.
The cost of electricity is often a misunderstood issue, as there is confusion on the role of the Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) and the Global Adjustment Mechanism (GAM). The figure below illustrates the percentage of supply from each energy source in 2013 and their contribution to the GAM.
As the figure illustrates, the lower-cost sources of electricity, such as nuclear and hydro, contribute to GAM on a lower percentage than the volume of electricity they produce, due to the fact they provide large volumes of clean electricity, keeping costs low for Ontario ratepayers.
There is also the perception the large capital requirements for nuclear projects equate to a high price of power for consumers – this is not the case. Since nuclear plants generate a large volume of electricity, with a high degree of reliability, the capital requirements of the facility are spread over significant amounts of generation, meaning the cost to ratepayers is affordable. In the case of Bruce Power, the price paid for electricity covers all costs, including decommissioning of the facility when it reaches its end of life, the management of low-, medium- and high-level waste, and capital investments in the facility.
From an overall supply mix perspective, the role of nuclear today and refurbished nuclear in the future will play a critical role in keeping electricity costs low for Ontario families and businesses. The figure below compares the relative cost of electricity from all the various sources, in a report recently released by the Ontario Ministry of Energy. As the figure illustrates, the cost of nuclear refurbishment remains highly competitive and a key element to keeping electricity costs low and bending the price curve forward.