Point Lepreau: back online after four years

24 October 2012

On 23 October 2012, the Point Lepreau Generating Station was successfully synchronized to the New Brunswick electrical grid for the first time since 2008, its operator NB Power has announced. "The station passed a significant test and is now in the final stages of commissioning to make the station available for commercial dispatch," it said. Final stages include increasing and decreasing reactor power, and disconnecting the reactor from the grid and reconnecting it.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is continuing to provide oversight in the form of on- site inspections and technical reviews of the remaining testing and commissioning activities. NB Power requires one further approval from the CNSC prior to increasing reactor power above 35 per cent power.

“This test and synchronization to the New Brunswick grid is a key milestone in the restart process,” said Gaëtan Thomas, NB Power President and CEO. "We’re very close to completing this project and having this valuable asset once again providing our customers with safe, reliable and emission-free electricity.

“Returning the Point Lepreau Generating Station to service will provide us with greater opportunities to export power from New Brunswick and to generate revenue that will help us to reduce debt and keep rates low and stable for our customers while pursuing our overall goal of helping our customers reduce and shift their energy demand,” Thomas said.

Once returned to service, the station will contribute to the provincial goal of having as much as 75 per cent of the electricity used in New Brunswick coming from clean, renewable or non-emitting sources by 2020. The 660 megawatt station will be a baseload contributor to the New Brunswick grid, producing enough electricity to power more than 333,000 homes per year for the next 25 to 30 years.

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