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OPG wants to raise rates in March 2011 to start paying for Darlington Re-Build

Ontario Clean Air Alliance: Angela Bischoff - September 29, 2010

Darlington Re-Build Could Cost $21 to $35 Billion

Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) proposal to re-build the Darlington Nuclear Station could cost $21 to $35 billion according to a new report, The Darlington Re-Build Consumer Protection Plan, released today by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA).

OPG is seeking permission from the Ontario Energy Board to raise its rates commencing March 2011 to start paying for the Darlington Re-Build project. According to OPG, its proposal to extend the operating life of Darlington by 30 years will cost $8.5 to $14 billion. However, every single nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone over budget – on average, 2.5 times greater than the original cost estimates. Therefore, if history repeats itself, the actual cost of the Darlington Re-Build project will be $21 to $35 billion.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s renewable and natural gas-fired power producers (individuals, co-ops, First Nations communities, municipal utilities and investor-owned corporations) are not allowed to pass their capital cost overruns on to Ontario’s electricity consumers and taxpayers. OPG should be subject to the same consumer protection rules.

It’s time to put Ontario’s electricity consumers and taxpayers first. It is time to stop giving Ontario Power Generation blank cheques.

The good news is that Ontario has much lower cost and lower risk options to keep the lights on. These options can meet our electricity needs at less than half the cost of re-building Darlington.

- Energy Efficiency: 2.3 to 4.6 cents per kWh

- Combined Heat & Power: 5.7 to 6.0 cents per kWh

- Water Power Imports from Quebec: 6.5 cents per kWh

- Darlington Re-Build: 19 to 37 cents per kWh

With the click of a button, please send Premier McGuinty an email telling him that taxpayers and consumers should not pay for any nuclear cost overruns. Fixed-price bids should be required. Invest in lower cost and lower risk options.