Home » NuScale mini-reactors to power two US data centres

NuScale mini-reactors to power two US data centres

by Mark Cantrell
The former Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant in North Wales

A US provider of energy infrastructure has announced plans to develop small modular reactors (SMRs) to power two data centres in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Standard Power has chosen to work with technology provider NuScale Power Corporation, and energy development and production company, ENTRA1 Energy to support the delivery of the two SMRs.

As the technology provider, NuScale will provide its approved NuScale SMR technology for these projects. This is said to be the only SMR technology that has received design approval from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The development of a commercial SMR power facility is said to be a crucial step in the transition to a sustainable energy future, and will help technology data centres achieve carbon reduction targets.

Maxim Serezhin, Standard Power’s founder and chief executive, said: “We see a lot of legacy baseload grid capacity going offline with a lack of new sustainable baseload generation options on the market, especially as power demand for artificial intelligence (AI)-computing and data centres is growing.

“We look forward to working with ENTRA1 and NuScale to deploy NuScale’s proven SMR technology to deliver carbon-free, baseload energy to address this large gap in the generation market.

“By bringing together ENTRA1’s superior strengths in project development and investment with NuScale’s proven SMR technology, consumers can reduce their emissions footprint and help meet decarbonisation goals while delivering the reliable 24/7 service to energy consumers.”

In 2022, NuScale formed an exclusive global partnership with ENTRA1 Energy to commercialise the NuScale SMR Technology. Through this partnership, ENTRA1 Energy has the rights to develop, manage, own and operate energy production plants powered by NuScale’s approved SMR technology.

Clayton Scott, NuScale’s chief commercial officer, said: “ENTRA1 Energy has a strong global pipeline of energy production projects of multiple gigawatts of power generation with NuScale’s proven technology.

“Together, we can more effectively meet the growing demands for renewable, carbon-free energy solutions. With power demand growing in the semiconductor, AI, data and other tech sectors, ENTRA1 and NuScale are uniquely positioned to supply baseload and reliable power.”

Factory made

The design of NuScale’s SMR technology is claimed to provide a “cost-competitive, safe and scalable solution” for a wide range of energy needs – including power generation, district heating, desalination, commercial-scale hydrogen production, and other process heat applications.

NuScale’s power modules are fully factory-fabricated with no in-field construction, and operate with conventional nuclear fuel, which is widely available and has an established regulatory framework.

This is said to keeps costs “low, consistent and predictable” – and makes power plants using NuScale technology less expensive to build, operate and maintain.

John Hopkins, NuScale’s president and chief executive, said: “NuScale is excited to work with our strategic partner ENTRA1 to help deliver our cost-competitive and safe SMR technology to meet Standard Power’s carbon-free energy needs. By deploying our innovative NuScale SMR Technology to more consumers around the world, we’re taking an important step toward addressing the world’s enormous decarbonisation needs.”

Based on Standard Power’s plans for the two facilities, NuScale will end up providing 24 units of 77 MWe modules collectively producing 1,848 MWe of clean energy from both the Ohio and Pennsylvania sites.

The two projects are said to represent a significant economic boost for their respective communities. Standard Power estimates that each proposed SMR-powered data centre project will employ a significant number of skilled workers during the construction period with a focus on union labour.

Image credit: Wozzie/Shutterstock

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