On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved $145,540 for the Carbon Free Power Project Study Phase Siting Agreement with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS).
The Department of Public Utilities has been exploring the option to buy into the proposed 600 megawatt small modular reactor (SMR) facility as a possible replacement for base load power from the county’s coal assets as early as 2022.
The facility would house up to 12 NuScale nuclear power modules.
The Board of Public Utilities voted to recommend investing in the study at a special meeting Monday.
Council’s approval of funding for the phase 1 site option study guarantees the county up to 16 megawatts of power should BPU and the Los Alamos County Council approve adding that to the county’s electric portfolio in the future.
Following the completion of the phase 1 activities, each participant has the option to exit the project if it is no longer deemed economical or prudent for their customer base. Participants will also have the option to acquire additional capacity if available.
Erik Fairfield questioned the wisdom of investing in the facility during public comment.