(Idaho Falls, ID) – The Idaho Falls City Council took action this evening to reaffirm Idaho Falls Power’s (IFP) commitment to the development of reliable carbon-free nuclear power generation through the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP).
Executed in April of 2017, IFP had originally forecast a need for 10,000 kW with the CFPP based on the load growth and resource forecasts at that time. Updated 2020 resource forecasts indicate that the need for power from the project is now approximately 5,000 kW based upon the most recent customer load and other forecast data. The resolution affirms the utility’s energy need and commits additional support for the CFPP to help it enter the next phase of development.
“We are fortunate not to have retiring coal plants. This clearly shows in our limited need for baseload power like the SMR. But we are committed to continuing to explore projects that cost effectively diversify our carbon free energy portfolio,” said Bear Prairie, General Manager of Idaho Falls Power. “Our financial support in excess of our actual energy needs will help this project move into the next phase of development which helps the electric industry understand production options in the future.”
The city listed a number of factors that influenced their continued desire to move forward with the project and intent to support the project beyond their forecast energy needs. Factors include the development of increased reliable, carbon free energy for the region and the positive economic impacts the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) project would have on East Idaho through jobs and associated growth.
“I am feeling very optimistic this evening. Idaho Falls City Council Members have a high-level understanding of the risks and opportunities associated with this project. Unlike other utility power resource decisions, this project brings with it lots of opportunity for the region’s economy,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “Our own INL, the nation’s lead nuclear laboratory as well as the Department of Energy (DOE) is very excited to see this project advance. SMRs and other advanced nuclear technology will surely play a key role in linking our fossil fuel-addicted energy economy to a more sustainable future energy economy—one based on renewables and utility-scale storage. It is great to be on the path to the future.”
IFP is a member Utah Association of Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) which is the project developer for CFPP. The city reinforced its strong support for the SMR project in the resolution stating that “IFP understands that further development of local, non-carbon emitting energy generation will increase the region’s reliability, promote community stability and provide economic opportunities for the development of construction projects, commerce and industries.”
The Department of Energy recently announced a grant for nearly $1.4 billion dollars in funding for the project, indicating that the SMR project would be critical move to build additional small modular reactors for research opportunities and commercial power production in the west.
The project, being built by NuScale Power at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), is expected to provide approximately 720 megawatts of power and be operational by 2029.
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Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact City of Idaho Falls Public Information Officer, Bud Cranor at 208-612-8306 or at [email protected].
About Idaho Falls Power: Idaho Falls Power is a municipal electric utility serving the corporate city limits of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The City has operated the utility continuously since its establishment in 1900. Learn more on our website.