Feds approve funding for Saskatchewan reactor projects
The funding will go towards pre-engineering work, studies, assessments and community engagement.
A rendering shows the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300, a small modular reactor that could be deployed in Saskatchewan. – General Electric
- Ottawa has announced $74 million to support small modular reactor projects in Saskatchewan.
- Officials believe these reactors can play an important role in decarbonizing provincial electricity grids and heavy-emitting industries.
- SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin as early as 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034. Additional facilities could begin construction as early as 2034.
The Whole Story:
The Government of Canada has approved up to $74 million in federal funding for small modular reactor (SMR) development in Saskatchewan, led by SaskPower.
The funding will support pre-engineering work and technical studies, environmental assessments, regulatory studies and community and Indigenous engagement to help advance projects. SaskPower has selected the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s, subject to a decision to build that is expected in 2029.
Government officials noted that SMRs, a non-emitting form of energy, can play an important role in decarbonizing provincial electricity grids and heavy-emitting industries and can help remote communities reduce their reliance on costly and high-polluting diesel power. As an example, a 300-megawatt SMR can supply enough non-emitting power for an estimated 300,000 homes.
Officials noted that more than 75,000 Canadians are employed across the nuclear supply chain and have decades of experience in this area. They added that Canada’s nuclear industry is well positioned to leverage its science and technology innovation to continue to be among the leaders in the development and deployment of SMR technology.
Advancing new non-emitting electricity infrastructure projects is part of the government’s comprehensive approach to bringing clean, affordable and reliable power to every region of Canada, as outlined in Powering Canada Forward and in the draft Clean Electricity Regulations. The Government of Canada has committed over $40 billion in new federal measures to help provinces and has announced over $500 million to date in support of a variety of projects that are helping to build a clean, affordable and reliable grid in Saskatchewan specifically.
“Delivering clean, reliable and affordable electricity will look different in every region of Canada,” said Johnathan Wilkinson, minister of energy and natural resources. “That is why the Government of Canada is committing up to $74 million to explore the potential for small modular reactors in Saskatchewan to provide abundant non-emitting power, drive economic growth and create good jobs throughout Saskatchewan.”
Up to $50 million for this project has been committed to SaskPower from NRCan’s Electricity Predevelopment Program — a $250-million program to support pre-development activities of clean electricity projects of national significance, such as inter-provincial electricity transmission projects and small modular reactors. The funding announced is conditional on the finalization of a Contribution Agreement between NRCan and SaskPower, which is currently underway.
Additionally, over $24 million for this project has been committed to the Government of Saskatchewan from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Future Electricity Fund. This program returns pollution pricing proceeds to support clean energy projects, energy-efficient technologies and other initiatives that will help Canada meet its climate goals and achieve a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. The fund is intended to help spur innovation and encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies and fuels in Canada.
SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin as early as 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034. Additional facilities could begin construction as early as 2034.