Ontario's Minister of Energy, Hon. Todd Smith, has pledged support to facilitate the necessary long-term planning and consultation work for exploring nuclear expansion options at the Bruce Power site. This commitment aligns with Ontario's goals of fostering economic growth while striving to achieve net-zero emissions.
According to Mike Rencheck, President and CEO of Bruce Power, "Nuclear power has been the consistent backbone of Ontario's clean electricity system for several decades, and Bruce Power is poised to play a crucial role in meeting the province's clean energy requirements while also supporting job creation and economic prosperity in the future. We are actively advancing long-term planning and consultation activities to assess how the site can further contribute to Ontario's clean energy goals and promote economic development."
Bruce Power currently generates 30 percent of Ontario's electricity on less than 1,000 hectares of land, allowing room for incremental infrastructure expansion while ensuring environmental protection. The company possesses unique advantages, including over 50 years of experience, extensive environmental research, ample space for growth, existing transmission corridors, strong community support, and a highly skilled workforce.
Todd Smith, Minister of Energy, stated, "Our government's pro-business approach has attracted unprecedented investments across the province, ranging from electric vehicles and battery manufacturing to critical minerals and green steel. With our plan already in place to meet the projected demand in the coming decade, we are initiating pre-development work to identify future generation options. This includes exploring reliable, affordable, and clean nuclear energy that will power our province well into the future."
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D) report predicts a need to double the installed capacity in Ontario to meet energy demand while fulfilling emissions reduction targets. Initiating this long-term planning and consultation process is a prudent and proactive measure. The IESO's P2D report emphasizes the "no regret actions" that the government can undertake presently to pave the way for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. These actions include commencing the planning, siting, and environmental assessment necessary for expanded nuclear generation, as well as fostering collaboration among stakeholders and Indigenous communities.
Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Huron-Bruce, expressed her confidence in Bruce Power, stating, "Bruce Power is a trailblazer in producing clean and reliable energy for the people of Huron-Bruce County and the entire province. The benefits and belief in nuclear energy have a truly generational impact in mid-western Ontario. These consultations are a vital step in facilitating further growth of our clean energy sector, creating local job opportunities, and ensuring a dependable energy supply for Ontarians."
Bruce Power operates within the traditional and treaty territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, as well as the harvesting territories of the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Historic Saugeen Métis. The company is committed to meaningful engagement and consultation with local Indigenous communities, providing opportunities for their participation.
The Bruce, Grey, and Huron counties form the Clean Energy Frontier region, where Bruce Power is situated. This region has fostered a network of innovative companies that support the clean energy industry. It boasts a high level of citizen engagement and local expertise, which will be instrumental during the public consultation phase of the process.
Rick Byers, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, expressed excitement about this development, stating, "This is a highly promising development for the future of electricity generation in Ontario and for our Bruce Grey community. Bruce Power has had a profoundly positive impact throughout our region, and we eagerly anticipate following the progress of this pre-development work."
The provincial government will provide support to Bruce Power to initiate the planning and consultation work necessary to meet federal regulatory requirements. This process will also serve as a planning and early engagement tool for potential future large infrastructure projects. Leveraging nearly 50 years of nuclear plant operation at the Bruce Power site, along with a well-understood, extensively studied, and verified environmental footprint, this long-term planning and consultation effort will not disrupt the company's Life-Extension Program, which ensures the site's operation until 2064.
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