Wind Power Prices in Ontario Dropping Below Nuclear Costs

The following is a guest post from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) written by Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director at OCAA, comparing prices of new wind power projects in Ontario to those of nuclear power. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has recently announced the 16 successful proponents of this year’s Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) contract offers. Wind project costs have dropped to a range that is now competitive with nuclear prices- and could even become on par with nuclear in the future- especially with high nuclear refurbishment expenses that are currently covered by Ontario’s electricity consumers.

Wind power prices dropping below nuke re-build costs in Ontario

Today Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) announced that it has signed five contracts with private sector companies for wind power at costs ranging from 6.45 to 10.55 cents per kWh.

According to Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the cost of electricity from a re-built Darlington Nuclear Station will be 7 to 8 cents per kWh. However, every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone massively over budget – on average by 2.5 times. If history repeats itself, the cost of electricity from re-built Darlington reactors will be 15 cents per kWh . That would make even solar power acquired through the new Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process competitive with nuclear.

And, of course, solar and wind companies are on the hook for any cost overruns on their projects, unlike OPG which expects provincial electricity ratepayers and taxpayers to still pick up the tab for its inevitable cost overruns.

Also, renewable energy costs are projected to continue to fall rapidly so by the time the IESO undertakes its next LRP round a year from now, we will likely see even greater savings over costly and slow nuclear re-build projects. In fact, what the current LRP round has told us is that the Ontario government should be steering toward the off ramps for nuclear re-build projects as quickly as possible given the astonishing – and continuing — decline in green energy prices.

If we are smart, we will combine energy efficiency and water power imports from Quebec with made-in-Ontario renewable energy to build a much more cost effective, responsive and responsible electricity system for Ontario.

Please pass this message on to your friends.

Read the original article on OCAA’s website, posted on March 10, 2016.


Header Image source: Darlington Nuclear on OPG website

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