Canada proposes tax credits for SMRs

November 11, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Canadian government last week released its 2022 Fall Economic Statement, featuring, among its many proposals, investment tax credits for a variety of clean energy technologies, including small modular reactors.

According to the 96-page document, published November 3, “Following the adoption of the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the need for a competitive clean technology tax credit in Canada is more important than ever.”

A refundable credit of up to 30 percent is proposed for electricity generation systems—specifically, SMRs, solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar, wind, and water (small hydro, run-of-river, wave, and tidal); stationary electricity storage systems that don’t use fossil fuels in their operation; low-carbon heat equipment; and industrial zero-emission vehicles and related charging or refueling equipment. The government expects the credit’s price tag to be C$6.7 billion (about $5 billion) over five years.

To be eligible for the full 30 percent credit, companies would have to “adhere to certain labor conditions,” which would be determined by the Department of Finance after consultation “with a broad group of stakeholders, but especially with unions,” the government said. Failure to adhere to these conditions would reduce the credit to 20 percent.

The department will also “consult on any additional eligible technologies (e.g., large-scale nuclear and large-scale hydroelectric).” More details regarding these technologies are to be announced in the government’s 2023 budget proposal.

What they’re saying: “Including nuclear in the investment tax credit for clean energy technologies is a major step forward for the industry and great news for our climate and economy,” said John Gorman, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Nuclear Association. “It confirms what we at the CNA have been saying for years: that nuclear is clean energy and must be a key part of Canada’s strategy to maintain energy security while reducing emissions on the path to net zero.”

In case you missed it: On October 31, Ontario Power Generation announced that it has submitted to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission a License to Construct application for the proposed deployment of an SMR at the utility’s Darlington site in Clarington, Ontario. The application was developed collaboratively between OPG and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and comprises a number of information packages that will be submitted to the CNSC in sequence over the next six months, OPG said in its announcement.

OPG last December selected GE Hitachi as its technology partner for the Darlington nuclear new-build project. The companies plan to deploy GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR, an evolution of GEH’s 1,520-MWe Generation III+ ESBWR design, approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2014.

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