Playing a Role in Reducing Ontario’s Carbon Footprint

Playing a Role in Reducing Ontario’s Carbon Footprint

Bruce Power’s operating life extended to 2064 as TransCanada increases ownership to 48.5 per cent
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Power investment: The long-term investment in Bruce Power is consistent with TransCanada’s objective of building a balanced portfolio of contracted and low-cost power-generation assets.

Friday, December 4, 2015 - 7:40pm

CAMPAIGN: TransCanada Energy


In a week dominated by news coverage of the Paris Climate Summit, TransCanada has increased its stake, participation and investment in Ontario’s ongoing efforts to reduce the province’s carbon footprint.

The company announced today that Bruce Power — a nuclear facility that since 2001 has produced 70 per cent of the replacement energy needed to phase out the use of coal-fired generation in the province — has entered into an agreement with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to extend the plant’s operating life to 2064.

In connection with that announcement, TransCanada has acquired additional interest in Bruce Power for $236 million — meaning the company now holds a 48.5 per cent interest in the facility.

“Since the early 2000s, the resurgence of the Bruce Power facility has played a huge role in phasing out coal in Ontario and has remained the central plank of the province’s long-term energy plan," says Bill Taylor, TransCanada executive vice-president and president, energy.

“That building block was strengthened in 2013 when Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) reaffirmed Bruce Power as the foundational element of Ontario’s Power System,” explains Taylor.

Bruce Power generates 6,300 megawatts of carbon-free electricity for Ontario
Since the early 2000s, Bruce Power has returned the facility to full operational capacity, with eight units providing 6,300 megawatts of carbon-free electricity to Ontario’s grid.

The amended agreement entered into today — and taking effect on January 1, 2016 — will enable Bruce Power to progress with another series of incremental life-extension investments, including refurbishments to enable its continued operations for decades to come.

The facility currently provides more than 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity at 30 per cent below the average cost of power.

Since joining the Bruce Power Partnership back in 2002, TransCanada has contributed to a series of major refurbishments at the facility, and has otherwise played a significant role in the province’s carbon reduction efforts by building and investing in natural gas-fired power plants and solar facilities.

We are Ontario’s largest independent power producer, with solar, nuclear and natural gas power
Along with eight Ontario solar facilities, TransCanada operates the 683 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired power plant located in the town of Halton Hills, owns 50 per cent of the Portlands Energy Centre (PEC), a 550 MW combined-cycle natural gas generation plant in downtown Toronto, and is currently building the 900 MW combined-cycle Napanee Generating Station near Kingston.

As a result, TransCanada is the largest independent power producer in the province and the largest private sector power company in Canada.

And with an asset base that includes zero emission generation infrastructure, such as hydro, solar, wind and nuclear — representing one-third of the company’s current power assets overall — TransCanada is in a strong position to contribute to more carbon-reduction initiatives elsewhere.

Poised to take advantage of valuable opportunities as Canada reduces carbon emissions
Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, announced in November, included the goal to accelerate the transition from coal to natural gas and renewable energy sources.

Taylor says there is a “wave coming across the country”, as the broader movement in Central Canada towards reducing carbon emissions in power generation heads to Alberta.

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, announced in November, included the goal to accelerate the transition from coal to natural gas and renewable energy sources.

“More than 800 MW of coal-fired generation is expected to be decommissioned, and we believe this will present valuable opportunities to add new and replacement capacity during the transition. We’re positioned well, given our experience in other jurisdictions,” adds Taylor.

Wind and hydro facilities also contributing to emission-less power prouction
In addition to emission-less assets in Eastern Canada — which also include wind-powered facilities in Quebec — TransCanada operates the largest wind facility in New England and 13 hydroelectric facilities along the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

Additionally, TransCanada announced in October an agreement to acquire the Ironwood natural gas fired, combined cycle power plant in Lebanon, Pa., with a capacity of 778 megawatts (MW) from Talen Energy Corporation.

Strategically located in proximity to the Marcellus shale gas play, the facility is well positioned to access competitively priced natural gas in a market that is in the midst of transitioning away from coal-fired power generation to gas.