OPG's 2020 Climate Change Plan (Credit: OPG)Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has released its Climate Change Plan that includes ambitious goals aimed at driving efficient, economy-wide decarbonisation and economic renewal, while protecting the environment.

The plan has two major goals: to commit to being a net-zero carbon company by 2040; and to commit to being a catalyst to help the markets where it operates to achieve net-zero carbon economies by 2050.

“We believe OPG is uniquely positioned to be a climate change leader because of our strong track record of innovation, efficient operations and project delivery, which includes coal closure,” said OPG president and CEO Ken Hartwick. “Our plan aims to address climate change in a way that will help create new jobs, nurture new industries that protect the environment and make our economy stronger for current and future generations.”

Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs said Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world, with more than 90% of its electricity generated with no GHG-emissions. “For decades, OPG has led the way with real action to support Ontario’s climate change efforts and our government is proud to continue that work alongside OPG as we meet the commitments in our Made-in-Ontario Environment plan.”

The plan builds decades of work by OPG to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2014, the company delivered the world’s single largest climate change action to date when it stopped burning coal for electricity, and has  since expanded its hydro fleet and partnerships such as the Gull Bay micro grid and Nanticoke Solar facility. OPG is currently working on refurbishing the Darlington nuclear station, whose continued operation will avoid an estimated 297 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

OPG said: “Our goals will be guided by several principles including: a commitment to adapt to new technologies and changing policies, be as transparent as possible, follow scientific evidence, respect Ontario customers, and meaningfully engage with Indigenous communities.”

Earlier in November, OPG announced measures to move forward with planning to site a Small Modular Reactor at Darlington by 2028. Other key actions include: advancing electrification initiatives; completing the Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment; continued investment in hydroelectric generation; adaptation and resiliency of assets; exploring opportunities in non-hydro renewables and energy storage; investigating negative emissions technology (the removal/sequestration of carbon); and supporting nature-based solutions and biodiversity initiatives.

Photo: Cover of OPG's 2020 Climate Change Plan (Credit: OPG)