CLARINGTON, ONT. — Darlington Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 3 has been successfully connected to Ontario’s electricity grid 169 days early, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) reported.
Unit 3 is the second Darlington unit to undergo complete refurbishment and is operating at 100 per cent capacity, providing energy for Ontarians during the peak summer months, states a release.
The early return of Unit 3 will produce an extra three terawatt-hours of energy, enough to power 350,000 homes for an entire year and reduce up to one megatonne of greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent of taking 300,000 cars off the road for an entire year.
Unit 2, which was completed in 2020 and returned to service, has experienced a record 529-day continuous run, which is industry-leading performance for a CANDU reactor post-refurbishment, adds the release. Overall generation was also 10 plus per cent better than target.
Unit 1 refurbishment is 60 per cent complete and is currently in the reassembly phase. It is expected to be completed by mid-2025. Unit 4, the last of Darlington’s four reactors, will come offline soon to begin its refurbishment.
Once complete, a refurbished Darlington Nuclear Generating Station will provide more than 30 years of carbon-free power. The $12.8 billion refurbishment project, together with the station’s extended operation, will generate about $90 billion in economic benefits for Ontario and create an average of 14,200 jobs annually across the province.
“Through this project, OPG is demonstrating that with detailed planning and preparation, large nuclear projects can be completed not only on-time, but ahead of time and with great quality,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s president and CEO, in a statement. “This would not be possible without the performance, expertise, and commitment from our refurbishment project team, project partners, industry experts, energy professionals, and skilled tradespeople.”