OPG includes SMR plans in net-zero strategy

27 November 2020

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has committed to being a net-zero carbon company by 2040, and to help the markets where it operates to achieve net-zero carbon economies by 2050. These are the two major goals established in its newly released Climate Change Plan that aims to drive efficient, economy-wide decarbonisation and economic renewal, while protecting the environment. Siting a small modular reactor at its Darlington site is one of the actions to achieve its aims.

"We believe OPG is uniquely positioned to be a climate change leader because of our strong track record of innovation, efficient operations and project delivery, which includes coal closure," OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick said. "Our plan aims to address climate change in a way that will help create new jobs, nurture new industries that protect the environment and make our economy stronger for current and future generations."

Greg Rickford, Ontario's minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and of Indigenous Affairs, said the province boasts one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world, with more than 90% of its electricity generated with no greenhouse gas emissions.

OPG said the plan builds on "decades of work" to reduce its carbon footprint starting from 2014, when the company stopped using coal for electricity generation, and includes the expansion of its hydro fleet, partnerships with micro grid and solar initiatives, and refurbishing the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. The continued operation of Darlington will avoid an estimated 297 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

OPG earlier this month announced the resumption of planning activities for building new nuclear generating capacity at Darlington, where it now plans to site an SMR "as early as 2028". According to its Climate Change Plan, OPG aims by the end of 2021 to identify the SMR technology it wishes to deploy, and by 2025 for construction to be "well under way" provided all the required licences and approvals are granted.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News