OPG, Capital Power team up to bring SMRs to Alberta

January 17, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News

Two Canadian energy companies are teaming up to bring small modular reactors to Alberta.

Capital Power Corporation and Ontario Power Generation announced this week that they will spend the next two years exploring joint opportunities to bring SMRs to the province. Just under 13 percent of Canada’s power comes from its 19 nuclear reactors.

In their words: “SMRs are small but powerful, with the potential to help reduce emissions across the economy. This is an exciting step forward and could help us keep energy reliable and affordable for years to come,” said Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s minister of environment and protected areas.

“Small modular reactors have the potential to play a major role in the province’s search for the right energy mix to supply clean, reliable and affordable electricity to Albertans,” said Nathan Neudorf, Alberta’s minister of affordability and utilities. “This partnership represents an exciting and important step forward in our efforts to decarbonize the grid while maintaining on-demand baseload power.”

A closer look: The governments of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick released a strategic plan in 2022 for the deployment of SMRs; this new agreement between Capital Power and OPG is another step forward.

Capital Power currently owns 7,700 megawatts of power generation at 30 facilities across North America and is committed to achieving net zero by 2045. OPG is one of North America’s largest electricity generators, leading the development of clean technologies. It is building the first fleet of SMRs in North America—with the first of four units at its Darlington New Nuclear site in Ontario scheduled to go on line by the end of 2029.

From Capital Power: “We are excited to partner with and learn from OPG,” said Avik Dey, Capital Power president and chief executive officer. “We are at the forefront of electrification, which will drive continual growth in demand for power. The deployment of SMR technology will provide an important source of safe, reliable, flexible, affordable, and clean base load electricity in Alberta in the future.”

From OPG: “[We are] pleased to work with Capital Power as they explore adding nuclear to Alberta’s electricity supply mix. Through collaborations like this, we will share expertise related to SMR development and deployment, to build energy security and economic growth in both provinces,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG president and CEO.

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