Canadian nuclear generator Bruce Power announced today the issuance of $500 million in green bonds, a global first for nuclear power, with proceeds aimed at financing or re-financing investments associated with life extension and increasing output of existing units.
The place of nuclear power within a clean energy future remains controversial. While nuclear has substantial and proven capability to provide abundant amounts of carbon-free energy, it is unclear whether nuclear energy can be considered a sustainable source of power, considering the many well-known issues surrounding its use, including radioactive waste management issues, uranium mining concerns, and the potential for catastrophic accidents, among others.
Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO, said:
“Clean nuclear power is crucial to fighting climate change, and today’s announcement marks another industry-leading step in the company’s environmental, social and governance strategy. One of the largest greenhouse gas emission reduction initiatives in the world was the phase-out of coal-fired electricity in Ontario, and Bruce Power was at the heart of making this a reality by providing 70 per cent of the energy the province needed to achieve this goal.”
Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is a Canadian-owned partnership of TC Energy, OntarTC Energy, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Systems (OMERS), the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of United Professionals. The company has signed a long-term contract with the province of Ontario to refurbish six of its eight units, in order to provide carbon-free energy through 2064.
According to Bruce Power’s Green Financing Framework, proceeds from the offering will be used to help finance the company’s Life-Extension Program for the six units, with investments including component replacement, refurbishment and maintenance aimed at increasing the units’ operational life span and improving or maintaining operational safety.
Kevin Kelly, Bruce Power’s Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, said:
“After structuring our sustainability-linked loan earlier this year and committing to reach Net Zero emissions from site operations by 2027, creating our Green Financing Framework is a meaningful and concrete next step toward ensuring the highest Green standards are reflected in our financing initiatives. Through this Framework, Bruce Power will continue investing in life extension and increasing the output of our units, which promotes environmental sustainability.”
Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, added:
“A strong nuclear industry is essential to a strong economy in Ontario. Ontario’s nuclear sector injects billions into the economy every year, providing low-cost, reliable and carbon-free electricity that our businesses need to stay competitive in the world market, and life-saving medical isotopes which are vital resources in the global medical community.”