Energy Northwest is getting a $10 million boost to continue working toward a next-generation nuclear energy facility.
The investment, from Puget Sound Energy, was announced Jan. 10.
Energy Northwest owns Columbia Generating Station north of Richland – the Northwest's only commercial nuclear power plant – and it's been exploring a next-generation nuclear energy facility for years. Its work took a big step forward this past summer when the company signed a joint development agreement with the Maryland-based X-energy for a small modular nuclear reactor project.
The aim is for the first module to be brought online by 2030. It would be on land next to the Columbia Generating Station.
Puget Sound Energy's infusion supplements the roughly $10 million already invested by Energy Northwest and other entities.
"Energy Northwest is committed to developing clean energy resources capable of helping Washington state meet its climate and carbon reduction goals," said Bob Schuetz, CEO in a statement. "As we de-carbonize the electric grid, it is increasingly evident new sources of carbon-free, reliable and affordable electricity must be deployed – and advanced nuclear energy technology can play a vital role in this transition,”
The partnership with Puget Sound Energy "underscores our shared commitment to address the climate challenge and meet the region’s future clean energy needs with the help of new and innovative carbon-free nuclear energy technologies,” he added in the statement.
Mary Kipp, president and CEO of Puget Sound Energy, said in the statement that the utility is "excited to partner with Energy Northwest as part of our efforts to identify and secure reliable, cost-effective clean energy for our 1.2 million electric customers in the state of Washington."
She added that, “our clean energy future depends on finding reliable resources that produce energy when customers need it without emitting greenhouse gases. Advanced nuclear technology has the potential to be that resource."
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