Ontario Power Generation says it needs help to pay for $13-million in upgrades to its nuclear plant at Darlington. It wants the Ontario Energy board to approve a $1.05 increase to monthly hydro bills over the next five years, jumping to $5.25 a month after that. OPG says the upgrades would extend the life of the reactors at Darlington by another 30 years. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance says there are cheaper ways to produce electricity. It notes OPG’s application shows it wants nine cents a kilowatt hour for the power produced from Darlington, which is more expensive than the 8.6 cents a kwh it pays for wind power. “Our electricity rates are already too high, and we shouldn’t increase them even further when we can actually lower our bills by choosing a cleaner and safer option,” said Alliance chair Jack Gibbons. A final decision on the rate hike is not expected until the middle of next year.