Today, Bruce Power reached an important milestone.
We marked 300 days into our multi-year agreement with the province to extend the life of our units and keep them operating through 2064. I’m pleased to report this program, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2016, is on time and on budget, while continuing to deliver low-cost electricity to the province.
There is a myth that our life-extension program doesn’t begin until 2020 when we will carry out the first replacement of major components or ‘refurbishment.’ This is not the case. We will spend as much on our site between 2016 and 2020 as we will in one refurbishment.
In fact, we have already invested $400 million in the Bruce Power site since Jan. 1, while generating 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity at 30 per cent below the average residential price, which keeps prices low for families and businesses. Recently, the Ontario Energy Board reported that nuclear overall in 2016 has generated 59 per cent of the electricity while contributing only 38 per cent to the highly-publicized Global Adjustment Mechanism – that’s because we are one of the lowest cost forms of generation in the province.
As a private sector operator, we are responsible for meeting the investment needs of our site while the assets remain publicly owned, and we also take the financial risk if we don’t deliver on time and on budget. That’s why we’ve invested in innovation, planning and preparation for the work, and have built our program based on 15 years of lessons learned since the company was formed in 2001. This hard work has us off to a good start on delivering results for our owners, the province and Ontario electricity consumers.
Our innovations have added 27 years of additional operations over the life of our site in addition to refurbishment. On Oct. 26, we announced that at the peak of winter, our eight units will achieve 6,400 megawatts (MW) of output, up 100 MW from what has been previously delivered. This was made possible through enhancements on the non-nuclear side of our plant – a true example of innovation at work.
It is important for us to achieve more generation from existing assets, and 100 MW is enough to power 100,000 homes during the cold winter months. That’s enough electricity to power every home in Kingston, Sudbury or Niagara Falls and also support exports to jurisdictions like Quebec, which are short of power during the winter.
Our multi-year, life-extension program started on Jan. 1 when we began the next phase of investments in our site to optimize asset life, to prepare for future work to replace major reactor components and also to carry out plant upgrades and enhancements in a methodical, carefully planned manner, as outlined in our transaction with the province.
All of this investment will be met by Bruce Power’s owners and investors with over 90 per cent spent in Ontario, supporting, at peak, 22,000 direct and indirect jobs annually from hundreds of small and large suppliers. It also means extensive work for members of Ontario’s Building and Construction Trades, the Power Workers Union and The Society of Energy Professionals.
In our new arrangement with the province, we have the opportunity to return funds to ratepayers by delivering additional operational efficiency. We are committed to achieving this so we can do our part to keep electricity rates affordable and efficiently manage every dollar.
We are proud to mark this milestone and remain committed to improving every day with a focus on operational excellence and project excellence. We know electricity rates are a focus and that’s why we will continue to be a low-cost provider. We recognize Ontario families and businesses are working harder to stretch every dollar and so are we.
While electricity is the product we produce, we are in the people business and it is our people who will proudly continue to deliver low-cost electricity to Ontario families and businesses for many years to come.
Bruce Power President and CEO