Bruce Power seeks partners for nuclear carbon offset protocol

16 November 2022

Bruce Power is advancing a project to establish the necessary nuclear carbon offset protocol to allow new incremental nuclear output to be accredited for an avoided emissions benefit, to quantify and validate the vital role nuclear power plays in decarbonising Ontario's electricity sector.

The Bruce site on Lake Huron (Image: Bruce Power)

In October 2021, Bruce Power said it was aiming for a site generation peak of 7000 MWe by 2030, up from its current level of 6550 MWe, through incremental increases in support of climate change targets and future clean energy needs. To this end, it launched Project 2030, which focuses on continued asset optimisation, innovations, and leveraging new technology, which could include integration with storage and other forms of energy to increase the site peak.

The avoided emissions from the initial phase of Project 2030 is expected to raise site output to 6750 MWe and is estimated to remove almost 450,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.

As part of the pilot project, the company has been working with GHD, a global professional services company specialising in energy and resources, to demonstrate the role the energy sector and nuclear power can play in the transition to a zero-carbon economy in Ontario. A GHD report, Avoided emissions and incremental energy production: The case for nuclear power, commissioned by Bruce Power, calls for the establishment of a clear accreditation pathway for nuclear and other clean energy resources in Ontario.

Bruce Power, working with GHD, is developing a Nuclear Carbon Offset Protocol, with plans to register the project on the Canadian Standards Association's GHG CleanProjects Registry, which is based on ISO 14064 standards for greenhouse gas inventory and reporting.

Bruce Power is seeking to form strategic partnerships with Ontario-based industrial operations in difficult-to-decarbonise sectors of the economy, who have committed publicly to net-zero targets, are supportive of the development of the Clean Energy Registry and supportive of carbon offsets generated from new, incremental nuclear power.

It has now called for Expressions of Interest for its Clean Energy Credits and Carbon Offset protocol project, which will bring together key partners in the energy sector and establish the necessary validation pathway that will allow new, incremental/additional, and possibly refurbished nuclear to be accredited for avoided emissions.

Applications from all industry, all Indigenous, and non-Indigenous community organisations must be submitted by March 2023.

"This first-of-its-kind initiative will require a range of key stakeholders in order to collectively secure a strong foundation for what will be a new, permanent fixture in our province as organisations work to secure offsets and renewable/clean energy credits to achieve their net-zero commitments," Bruce Power said.

"Ontario has already led one of the largest and most successful greenhouse gas and pollution-reduction programs with the phase-out of coal in 2014 and we're poised to be on the cutting edge once again by establishing a protocol for new incremental nuclear power, which will be generated from the existing units, to further decarbonise the province's energy supply mix," said Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck. "Nuclear power already provides 60% of Ontario's supply and we're optimising our plants to provide even more clean energy to support a low-carbon intensity electricity grid for decades to come."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News