NuScale Gets a Win with SMRs for Data Centers in Ohio and Pennsylvania

Standard Power, a provider of infrastructure as a service to advanced data processing companies, has chosen NuScale Power’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology to power two facilities it plans to develop—one in Ohio and the other in Pennsylvania. ENTRA1 Energy, an independent global energy development and production company, will support Standard Power’s two projects.

“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 centers 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,” Maxim Serezhin, founder and CEO of Standard Power, said in a statement. “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 decarbonization goals while delivering the reliable 24/7 service to energy consumers.”

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

“ENTRA1 Energy has a strong global pipeline of energy production projects of multiple gigawatts of power generation with NuScale’s proven technology,” Clayton Scott, Chief Commercial Officer for NuScale, said in a statement. “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.”

The NuScale Power Module (NPM) is a relatively small pressurized water reactor that can generate 77 MWe and can be scaled to meet customer needs. The company offers a 12-module option, called the VOYGR-12 power plant, that is capable of generating 924 MWe, and it also has a four-module 308-MWe design (VOYGR-4) and a six-module 462-MWe design (VOYGR-6). It says other configurations are possible based on customer needs.

NuScale received U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval for its 50-MWe design in 2020 and design certification in 2023, making it the first and only SMR to achieve either milestone. The 77-MWe uprated design is currently under review with the NRC. It includes the same fundamental technology and safety case that the NRC approved in 2020, which NuScale says should help expedite the review process.

Standard Power aims to use the Ohio- and Pennsylvania-sited plants to power data centers in both areas. If Standard Power’s initial plans for the two facilities are ultimately realized, NuScale will provide 24 units of 77-MWe modules for a combined capacity of 1,848 MWe.

The two projects would provide a major economic boost for their respective communities. Standard Power estimates that each proposed SMR-powered data center project will employ “a significant number of skilled workers” during the construction period with a focus on union labor. Standard Power said it will leverage its local community partnerships to advance education programs as well as job creation programs focusing on local labor.

In addition to data centers, NuScale says its SMR technology is well-suited to supply energy for district heating, desalination, commercial-scale hydrogen production, and other process heat applications. In May, NuScale signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Nucor Corporation to explore co-locating VOYGR power plants to provide baseload electricity to Nucor’s scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills. The companies said they will also explore an expanded manufacturing partnership through which Nucor, the largest steel producer and recycler of any type of material in North America, would supply Econiq, its net-zero steel products, for NuScale projects.

NuScale has also continued to make progress with its partner Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) on its Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), which is expected to be the first NuScale SMR power plant to begin operation in the U.S. Six 77-MWe modules are expected to be deployed on that project, which is planned for construction on a U.S. Department of Energy site at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

In January, NuScale said the Project Management Committee (PMC) for the CFPP had reaffirmed its commitment to the project by approving a new Budget and Plan of Finance (BPF) and an update to the Development Cost Reimbursement Agreement (DCRA). It said this key milestone was reached with the receipt and acceptance of the CFPP’s Class 3 Project Cost Estimate (PCE), which further refined the anticipated total cost of the project. The CFPP was reported to be on schedule at the time, with the first NPM expected to start generating power in 2029 and remaining modules coming online for full plant operation by 2030.

NPMs 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. NuScale says this keeps costs low, consistent, and predictable—and “makes power plants using NuScale technology less expensive to build, operate, and maintain.”

Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@POWERmagazine).

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