PowerNews Summer 2019
OPG’s PowerNews is a quarterly round-up of news, features, and employee profiles that showcase our stories and wonderful talent.
In the Summer 2019 issue, we get an update on the progress of the Darlington Refurbishment, Canada’s largest clean energy project. The project is approaching another milestone: fuel load of Unit 2.
In the employee spotlight is Jaimie Dack, a diver with OPG’s Inspection and Reactor Innovation division. She shares her inspiration and what it’s like to take the plunge into the waters around OPG’s facilities.
We also take a look at a successful overhaul of a long-running unit at our Ear Falls hydroelectric station in the northwest, thriving bee colonies hosted at our Niagara Operations, and more.
OPG prepares for Unit 2 fuel load on the Darlington Refurbishment project
OPG and its project partners are preparing for another significant Darlington Refurbishment milestone: fuel load.Read more
Spotlight on OPG employee Jaimie Dack
The weather may be heating up, but Jaimie Dack feels right at home submerged in the cold waters around OPG’s generating stations.Read more
OPG’s Niagara Operations home to one of Canada’s largest bee colonies
Believe it or not, OPG’s sites in the Niagara region are home to one of the largest bee colonies in Canada.Read more
Ear Falls GS Unit 1 gets a new lease on life
OPG’s Ear Falls Generating Station is now running a little more smoothly after a long-serving unit was overhauled.Read more
Virtually controlled robots could aid the Darlington Refurbishment
It may sound like science fiction, but a new human-to-robot interface could soon allow OPG workers to virtually control machines.Read more
Darlington Unit 3 stator completes its cross-Atlantic voyage
Darlington's Unit 3 stator has arrived. The massive 350-tonne piece of equipment completed its cross-Atlantic voyage from Poland.Read more
Nanticoke Solar now generating renewable power for Ontario
OPG’s first ever solar power facility is now online and harnessing the sun’s rays to generate clean, renewable electricity for Ontario.Read more
OPG partners with Heartland Forest to build new bird boxes in Niagara
Birds in the Niagara region will be enjoying some new homes this summer thanks to a partnership between OPG and Heartland Forest.Read more
New boilermaker pre-apprentices set to help meet industry demand
A new class of pre-apprentice boilermakers could help meet the skilled trades supply gap in the energy industry.Read more
Indigenous-owned manufacturer expands thanks to the Darlington Refurbishment
An Indigenous-owned company is now one of two companies in Canada providing nuclear-grade personal protective equipment.Read more
OPG reports Q1 operating and financial results
It was a solid start to the year for OPG as the company reported generation of 19.1 terawatt hours (TWh) in the first quarter of 2019, an increase from 18.8 TWh in the same quarter in 2018.
Meanwhile, net income attributable to the Shareholder was $213 million for the quarter, compared to $535 million for the same period last year when the sale of the former Lakeview Generating Station (GS) site was finalized.
“OPG is pleased to report that our first quarter results have once again provided a strong financial return for our Shareholder, the Province of Ontario,” said Ken Hartwick, President and CEO of OPG. “Our core generating business remains strong and we continue to drive value from our assets.”
Generation performance was boosted by OPG’s regulated hydroelectric stations, which experienced higher generation of 0.5 TWh in the first quarter. Availability at these stations also increased to 90.1 per cent in Q1 compared to 87.3 per cent over the same period last year, primarily due to fewer unplanned outage days at the company’s eastern and northwestern regulated hydroelectric operations.
Meanwhile, nuclear generation was down 0.6 TWh during the first three months of the year due to more planned outage days at Darlington Nuclear GS. This was in line with the station’s cyclical maintenance schedule. This was partially offset by fewer planned outage days at the Pickering Nuclear GS. As a result of the increased planned outage days, Darlington’s unit capability factor decreased to 72.6 per cent, compared to 96.5 per cent for the same quarter in 2018. Meanwhile, Pickering’s unit capability factor increased to 86.7 per cent in Q1 compared to 74.5 per cent for the same period last year.
On the Darlington Refurbishment project, major advances have been made since the start of the year. In April, new fuel channel installation was completed on Unit 2, representing a significant milestone. The moderator has been re-filled with heavy water, which is used for the creation of nuclear energy. And the upper, middle and lower feeder installation series is currently underway. The project continues to track on schedule and on budget.
The company also made progress in Q1 building a 10 megawatt (MW) single-unit powerhouse on the existing Ranney Falls GS site. This new unit will replace an existing unit that reached its end of life in 2014. In the first quarter, gate hydraulic systems were commissioned successfully. Work to install the new turbine and generator unit is also underway. The project is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter.
Other highlights from the quarter include the successful completion of the Nanticoke Solar project, which was placed in service in March on time and on budget. OPG’s first solar generating site is now producing 44 MW of clean power for the province. The facility will be operated in partnership with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Also in March, OPG completed a US$16 million acquisition of the 9 MW Little Quinnesec hydroelectric GS located in Niagara, Wisconsin, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eagle Creek.