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Energy Northwest lauds Department of Energy’s selection of X-energy for advanced nuclear energy award

Jason Herbert, Public Affairs, 703-622-2010
Carla Martinez, Public Affairs, 509-308-0457

RICHLAND, Wash. – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the awardees for its Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. Designed to support development of advanced nuclear reactors in the United States, the ARDP provides initial funding for two projects that will use innovative, next-generation nuclear technology. Energy Northwest applauds DOE’s selection of X-energy, their innovative Xe-100 design and TRISO fuel. As X-energy’s utility partner, Energy Northwest is excited to collaborate on the development and deployment of this promising carbon-free energy resource. 

Under the partnership agreement Energy Northwest will assist with the licensing of the design, and, if the design is determined to be a viable option for development in Washington, Energy Northwest expects to own and operate the plant, with the output provided to our public power partners to meet future retail load. As the only experienced nuclear operator in the northwest, Energy Northwest is well-positioned to explore the viability of this innovative advanced nuclear energy project, including the benefits only advanced nuclear energy can provide.  

Recent state and regional carbon reduction policies have highlighted the importance of resource adequacy and the need for new carbon-free generation to help achieve a clean energy future. The region is expected to face significant capacity shortfalls over the next decade, and the availability of new carbon-free energy resources, capable of integrating with expanding renewable resources, will be invaluable to our carbon-reduction efforts. X-energy’s innovative advanced reactor design will expand access to clean energy while maintaining reliability on the electric grid. 

Energy Northwest’s mission is to keep Washington running with clean electricity. We achieve this by maintaining a fleet of reliable, affordable, and responsible energy facilities, and by continuously exploring new technologies in power generation and storage. “The X-energy design is a promising future component of our resource portfolio. Energy Northwest’s partnership in the development of this concept will provide Energy Northwest with the opportunity to pursue appropriate advanced reactor designs once experts and regional leadership are confident in the technology’s viability,” said Brad Sawatzke, Energy Northwest chief executive officer. “Identifying advanced reactor designs will allow us to continue serving the northwest with reliable, affordable, and clean electricity as we have been doing for nearly 60 years.” 

Additional information on the ARDP program and the Department of Energy’s technology selections is available here ​

About Energy Northwest   
Energy Northwest owns and operates a diverse mix of 100 percent clean electricity generating resources: hydro, solar and wind projects, and the third-largest provider of electricity in Washington – the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power facility. These projects provide carbon-free electricity at the cost of generation – enough clean, cost-effective and reliable energy to power more than a million homes each year. As an independent joint operating agency of Washington state, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million customers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members’ needs. Visit our website for more information about us. 
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