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UAMPS members execute power sales contracts for SMR project

Members of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems have executed power sales contracts totaling more than 150 megawatts of subscription in a 12-module small modular reactor (SMR) that will be built at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory under UAMPS’ Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP).

UAMPS on July 17 said that reaching this subscription level triggers continued work and evaluation of the project, including increased focus on site characterization and preparation of a Combined License Application (COLA) for submittal to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The number of UAMPS members that have executed power sales contracts is 34, noted LaVarr Webb, a UAMPS spokesman. Among them are large and small municipalities, including Idaho Falls, Idaho; Logan, Utah; Lehi, Utah; Heber City, Utah; and Brigham City, Utah. Some of the smaller towns that are UAMPS members are subscribing to less than 1 MW of electricity.

As the project moves forward, opportunities will exist to exit the project, and opportunities will exist for others to join. UAMPS said it will continue to apply an economic competitiveness test to ensure the financial viability of the project.

UAMPS, a public power agency that provides electricity at wholesale to more than 40 community-owned electric utilities in the Intermountain West, is working with NuScale Power on a project that involves the installation of 12 SMRs in Idaho. The first commercial 12-module NuScale power plant is planned to be built on the site of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

The project will include 12 individual 60-megawatt modules, producing a gross output of 720 MW of electricity.

UAMPS noted that its members have embraced the project as a key step toward decarbonizing their energy portfolios, while providing steady, resilient electricity to customers. “A vital feature of CFPP is that its 12 small reactors would be flexible in dispatchable power output, allowing it to provide a steady, adjustable supply of carbon-free electricity that complements and enables large amounts of renewable energy, including wind and solar,” UAMPS said.

Achieving this milestone maintains a schedule to begin construction in 2023, with the first 60 MW module becoming operational in 2026. Other modules would come online soon thereafter. UAMPS will continue to work with its partners, including the DOE, NuScale Power and INL, to prepare the COLA and move the project forward. 

“I appreciate the hard work and oversight of the CFPP Project Management Committee, comprised of members participating in the project, along with the UAMPS staff and our partners, in reaching this milestone,” said Douglas Hunter, UAMPS CEO and general manager. “A project of this magnitude and importance requires a real team effort and we look forward to working with this team as we enter new and exciting phases of the project.”

NuScale SMR design clears phases 2 and 3 of NRC review process

Meanwhile, NuScale on July 22 said that the NRC has completed the second and third phases of review of the company’s SMR design.

NuScale said that the NRC remains on track to complete its review of NuScale’s design by September 2020.