On April 15, 2013, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (AGO) released its highly anticipated special report (the Report) on the Ontario government’s decision to cancel and relocate the Greenfield South Power Plant. The proposed 280 MW gas plant had been under construction for nearly six months when it was cancelled in late 2011 and subsequently relocated from Mississauga to Sarnia.
The decision is estimated to have cost approximately $275 million according to the Report. The gross cost is estimated to have been as high as $351 million when considering the cancellation and relocation costs in isolation. However, the AGO attributes a $76 million savings in association with the relocated plant's lower electricity prices and delayed construction schedule that better matches Ontario's electricity demand forecast. Of the $275 million, the AGO estimates that $190 million is being paid by Ontario taxpayers with the balance being paid by electricity ratepayers.
Among the key findings, the Report states that the decision to cancel the plant during construction weakened the Ontario Power Authority’s bargaining power and likely resulted in higher costs due to concessions made to the developer to halt construction.