By Cameron Chai
Bruce Power, a Canadian electricity generation partnership, has secured approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to start power generation in the Bruce A Unit 2 nuclear reactor.
Bruce Power includes Bruce A & Bruce B generating stations, with each station equipped with four nuclear reactors. Six of those nuclear reactors are presently operating, producing over 4,700 MW of power. TransCanada, a company focused on natural gas transmission and power services, owns 49 % of Bruce A and 32 % of Bruce B project.
Russ Girling, President and CEO of TransCanada, stated that the authorization signifies the end of construction and commissioning stages and denotes a major step towards bringing the reactor into operation. Bruce Power will now focus on completing the last safety tests of the Unit 2 reactor and start synchronizing the reactor to the electricity grid in Ontario. The company expects that the unit will commence operations in the 2Q of 2012. Bruce Power is also renovating the Unit 1 reactor, which is anticipated to start energy production in the 3Q of 2012. Once completed, Bruce Power project will become the largest nuclear facility in the world. It produces over 6,200 MW of Ontario's electricity.
TransCanada currently has a 50% interest in the 550 MW Portlands Energy Centre (PEC) located in Toronto and it owns and operates the Halton Hills Generating Station. The company has also signed a $470 million contract to acquire nine solar power generation projects in Ontario. PEC, 683 MW Halton Hills Generating Station, the Bruce re-start project and the solar energy projects signify an investment of about $4 billion in the state’s energy infrastructure to generate low emission or emission-free power.