Electricity rates sought by the operators of Ontario’s Pickering and Darlington nuclear generating stations will push the price of their output to 16.8 ¢/kWh by 2026, filings reported by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance reveal, 6.9 times higher than the current leading-edge price of solar generation.
The environmental NGO reports that Ontario Power Generation is seeking approval from the provincial Energy Board to boost its charges for nuclear power by 11% per year over the next 10 years—a total of 5.9¢ per kilowatt-hour, to 16.8¢/kWh by 2026—in part to cover the $12.8-billion budgeted cost of rebuilding its Darlington station. By comparison, even at today’s rate, Ontario’s nuclear power output costs more than twice the 2.42¢/kWh the world’s biggest solar manufacturer bid earlier this month for an installation in (admittedly sunny) Abu Dhabi.
The price escalation for Ontario’s nuclear power consumers may not stop there, the Alliance warns. “Every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has been massively over budget—on average by 2.5 times,” its email said. “If history repeats itself, the price of nuclear power will rise by much more than three times by 2026.”
The Alliance wants the province to retire its nuclear assets and replace their output with imports from “a growing surplus of truly low-cost water power” in Quebec.