Energy Northwest and X-Energy Reactor Company have signed a joint development agreement, or JDA, for up to 12 Xe-100 small modular reactors with a total generating capacity of 960 MW in central Washington, the companies announced Wednesday.
“X-energy’s Xe-100 advanced reactor technology possesses many attributes ideally suited to a carbon-constrained electric system, and this agreement reflects our determination to deliver the technologies to meet growing clean energy needs,” Energy Northwest CEO Bob Schuetz said in a statement.
After conducting extensive evaluations of different advanced small modular reactor technologies, Energy Northwest determined that the Xe-100 was the best fit for its future resource needs. “The evaluation process found X-energy’s technology possessed the right operational, safety, maintenance, and licensing attributes to meet the northwest region’s current and future need for firm, dispatchable carbon-free energy,” the company said in an e-mail.
Energy Northwest expects to develop the Xe-100 project at a site adjacent to the Columbia Generating Station, the only commercial nuclear energy facility in the Northwest, and bring the first Xe-100 module online by 2030.
The companies have been working on plans for an Xe-100 facility since 2020.
“The JDA defines and details the scope, location, and schedule under which the commercial development of the project will move forward. The companies will also work together to determine the best approaches to licensing and regulatory matters, as well as the project delivery model,” according to Wednesday’s announcement.
In May, X-energy announced that Dow had chosen its UCC Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas for the first deployment of the Xe-100 as part of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, or ARDP.
X-energy plans to submit the site-specific construction permit application for its ARDP project with Dow to the NRC by early next year, a spokersperson for X-energy said in an email. “The work performed through the JDA with Energy Northwest will determine the steps and timeline for submitting a construction permit application for that project,” the spokesperson added.
In addition to the announced projects with Dow and Energy Northwest, X-energy has “over 30 potential customers across a variety of end markets and geographies, including North America and Europe,” the spokesperson said.
“The Dow announcement in particular has certainly drawn the attention of other industrial companies looking to see how our technology can directly support heavy industry, including oil sands operations, mining applications and other industrial processes,” the spokesperson continued.
X-energy is also working with Ontario Power Generation, and the Grant County Public Utility District in Washington is considering deployment of the Xe-100 by 2032.
In December, X-energy announced that it was merging with a special purpose acquisition company backed by private equity firm Ares Management in a deal to create a combined publicly traded company valued at $2 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed this summer.