Capital Power Corporation and Ontario Power Generation announced the companies have entered into an agreement to jointly assess the development and deployment of grid-scale small modular reactors (SMRs) to provide clean, reliable nuclear energy for Alberta.

Through the agreement, the two companies will examine the feasibility of developing SMRs in Alberta, including possible ownership and operating structures. SMRs are being pursued by jurisdictions in Canada and around the world to power the growing demand for clean electricity and energy security.

“We are excited to partner with and learn from OPG, a world-leader in nuclear power production,” said Avik Dey, president and CEO of Capital Power. “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.”

Capital Power and OPG will complete the feasibility assessment within two years, while continuing to work on the next stages of SMR development.

“With decades of experience building, operating and maintaining clean, safe nuclear power generation, OPG is pleased to work with Capital Power as they explore adding nuclear to Alberta’s electricity supply mix,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG pressident and CEO. “Through collaborations like this, we will share expertise related to SMR development and deployment, to build energy security and economic growth in both provinces.”

OPG is building North America’s first fleet of SMRs at its Darlington New Nuclear site in Ontario. The construction of the first of four SMRs will be completed by the end of 2028, and the unit will be online by the end of 2029.

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The governments of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick jointly released a Strategic Plan in 2022 for the deployment of SMRs. The Commitment Agreement announced today advances the plan, placing the provinces at the forefront of nuclear innovation, clean energy, and emerging markets for SMRs across Canada and around the world.

“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, Minister of Affordability and Utilities, Government of Alberta. “This partnership represents an exciting and important step forward in our efforts to decarbonize the grid while maintaining on-demand baseload power.”

“Ontario looks forward to leveraging our world-class nuclear expertise to advance the next generation of SMR technology in other jurisdictions across Canada and around the world,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “SMRs will help secure new investments that will create good-paying jobs and safely and reliably power communities to meet their growing needs.”

“Alberta is focused on being a leader in delivering a reliable, affordable and decarbonized energy system so our province can grow, prosper and excite others to do the same. SMRs are a critical component of the clean power generation supply mix and hold promise for the oil sands,” said Hon. Brian Jean, Minister of Energy and Minerals, Government of Alberta. “We look forward to working with Capital Power and OPG in creating the right framework to eventually bring SMRs onto Alberta’s power grid.”

Featured image: Ontario Power Generation announced earlier this year that it has partnered with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, SNC-Lavalin, and Aecon to construct North America’s first Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at the Darlington New Nuclear Project site. (OPG)

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