A new partnership has been forged between SaskPower, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Laurentis Energy Partners (LEP) that will further advance Saskatchewan’s plans to potentially bring nuclear power to the province through small modular reactors.
The three organizations along with SaskPower Minister Dustin Duncan and Ontario’s Energy Minister Todd Smith announced a Masters Services Agreement in Regina on Monday that SaskPower says will further advance potential small modular reactor (SMR) deployment.
“The agreement announced today is designed to establish a strategic partnership between SaskPower, Laurentis Energy Partners and Ontario Power Generation,” Duncan said during a news conference. “Together our two provinces are taking meaningful steps on our shared paths towards a sustainable and reliable energy future.”
The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) defines SMRs as generating 300 megawatts of power or less.
SaskPower is in the process of finding suitable sites for a nuclear facility to potentially add the province’s first SMR that would begin supplying Saskatchewan with electricity in the mid-2030s.
Areas that have been identified as potential sites for SMRs in Saskatchewan include the Estevan and Elbow regions.
The province says a final decision on whether or not to use an SMR will be made in 2029.
OPG is currently constructing SMRs at its Darlington Nuclear facility that are expected to be completed by the end of 2028, SaskPower said.
In June of 2022, SaskPower announced the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 as its potential SMR.
SaskPower CEO Rupen Pandya said the continued partnership with Ontario signals the two provinces’ commitment to be leaders of nuclear power development in Canada.
“More and more countries, states, provinces, cities and communities are taking it upon themselves to learn more about nuclear power as a clean energy initiative and Saskatchewan is no exception,” Pandya said.
Pandya said SaskPower is working as fast as possible to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and exploring the possibility of adding SMRs to the province’s power grid is part of that work.
Pandya said the energy sector is facing its most profound transition in over 100 years and SaskPower is being faced with transforming an electric system that took over 95 years to develop.
“With every significant challenge there is opportunity and today’s partnership announcement is a testament to this,” Pandya said.