Capital Power and OPG partner to advance new nuclear in Alberta

18 January 2024

North American power producer Capital Power Corporation and Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) have agreed to jointly assess the development and deployment of grid-scale small modular reactors (SMRs) in Alberta. 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. Capital Power and OPG will complete the feasibility assessment within two years, while continuing to work on the next stages of SMR development.

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 is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2028 and to be online by the end of 2029. In 2022, the governments of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick jointly released a Strategic Plan for SMR deployment. The new agreement supports this plan. In 2023, Alberta announced a CAD7m ($5m) investment in a multi-year study of the deployment of SMRs for the province's oil sands operations.

Capital Power President & CEO Avik Dey said: “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.” Ken Hartwick, OPG President & CEO said that through collaborations like this, “we will share expertise related to SMR development and deployment, to build energy security and economic growth in both provinces”.

Nathan Neudorf, Minister of Affordability & Utilities in the Government of Alberta believes SMRs 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. He added: “This partnership represents an exciting and important step forward in our efforts to decarbonise the grid while maintaining on-demand baseload power.” Whether SMR units would be located at one location, or several, would the considered during the feasibility stage, Neudorf said, but an "attractive" quality of SMR technology is the ability to do both, with units grouped together or deployed singly in more remote locations.

“Alberta is focused on being a leader in delivering a reliable, affordable and decarbonised 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 Brian Jean, Alberta’s Minister of Energy & Minerals. “We look forward to working with Capital Power and OPG in creating the right framework to eventually bring SMRs onto Alberta’s power grid.”


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