NuScale to explore SMR deployment in central Washington

May 27, 2021, 9:31AMNuclear News
An artist's rendering of the NuScale plant. Image: NuScale

Portland, Ore.–based NuScale Power has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Grant County Public Utility District (Grant PUD) to evaluate the deployment of NuScale’s advanced nuclear technology in central Washington state.

Based in Ephrata, Wash., the Grant PUD is a public electric utility serving more than 40,000 retail power customers in Grant County. The utility’s two Columbia River dams (Priest Rapids and Wanapum) and smaller hydropower projects have a generating capacity of more than 2,100 megawatts.

In its May 26 announcement, NuScale noted that its power plant design, the NuScale Power Module, is scalable in 77-MWe increments up to 924 MWe (12 units). “Modules can be added incrementally as regional load demands increase, offering the customer a new level of flexibility and reduced financial risk,” NuScale said. “These qualities align well with Grant PUD’s long-term objective of providing its customers with reliable, carbon-free energy.”

Power hungry: According to a NuScale/Grant PUD frequently-asked-questions document, the utility projects that the demand for power will exceed its hydropower generation resources during seasonal peak times by 2026. “NuScale’s small modular reactor technology, with its carbon-free, reliable power, provides a promising generation resource,” the document states. “Grant PUD is excited to pursue this technology as it determines how it will serve the power needs of its growing customer base.”

CEO excitement: “We are proud to partner with an experienced, pioneering utility that has brought reliable, low-cost power to its people by investing in innovative, sustainable energy projects,” said John Hopkins, NuScale’s chairman and chief executive officer. “As interest in our small modular reactors grows, we welcome this opportunity to emphasize how NuScale’s safer and smarter technology can be the reliable and affordable clean energy solution that communities like Grant County and others across America need.”

Kevin Nordt, Grant PUD CEO, commented, “Grant PUD is very excited to be in partnership with NuScale to explore the development of one of its small modular reactor nuclear plants. NuScale’s dedication to innovation and safety fit well with Grant PUD’s values. We are excited to work toward making nuclear power a key part of a carbon-free future in the Pacific Northwest.”

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