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Government approves $1.5 billion project that will power 2 million homes: '[It] would create thousands of new jobs'

"Our province needs clean and affordable energy."

"Our province needs clean and affordable energy."

Photo Credit: iStock

With dirty energy sources being phased out worldwide to meet ambitious pollution reduction goals, the need for clean, pollution-free electricity is increasing.

That's one reason why Ontario, Canada, has approved $1.5 billion ($2 billion CAD) in funding to refurbish a nuclear power station near Toronto that began producing power in 1971. 

According to Reuters, citing government data, Ontario's population of 15.8 million is expected to grow by 5 million over the next 10 years, and with the rising popularity of electric cars and appliances, more energy will be needed to meet demand.

What's more, Canada hopes to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, so investment in nuclear, solar, and wind power is vital.

Once the improvements to the Pickering Nuclear Power Generating Station are complete, potentially in mid-2030, the plant will be given an extra 30 years of operating life, and it's estimated it will have a production capacity of 2,000 megawatts of electricity — equivalent to powering 2 million homes, per an Ontario government news release.

"With new investments and jobs coming to Ontario and the population growing rapidly, our province needs clean and affordable energy," Ontario finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said in the release. "To meet this growing electricity demand, we are expanding Ontario's generation capacity, conducting Canada's largest clean energy storage procurement, and expanding energy efficiency programs."

Canada is putting a lot of stock into nuclear energy, with the country's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announcing that approvals for new power stations will be expedited, according to Reuters. This will allow nuclear plants to go online sooner, reducing the nation's reliance on dirty energy that contributes to global heating and extreme weather conditions — like the brutal wildfires that ravaged the country in 2023. 

There are high hopes for the Pickering plant refurbishment, not just for a clean energy supply but also for the prosperity of Ontario's residents.

"The refurbishment of Pickering would create thousands of new jobs and help produce at least another 30 years of safe, reliable, and clean electricity to power the next major international investment, the new homes we are building, and industries as they grow and electrify," Minister of Energy Todd Smith said in a statement

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