APS will study small modular reactors as part of 2017 IRP process

Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) utility Arizona Public Service (APS) will study small modular reactors (SMRs) as one of the many options to be considered as part of its preliminary 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

APS held a public stakeholder workshop on the resource planning process on Feb. 9 and filed the preliminary IRP Arizona Commerce Commission (ACC) on March 1.

The utility notes that SMRs are one of the low-carbon options that it will consider in addition to natural gas, solar power, renewable energy expansions, battery energy storage and demand side management (DSM).

The utility’s IRP says that SMR technology can offer modular and scalable architecture; factory-fabricated units that mitigate the risks of schedule overruns and reduced environmental impact.

SMRs could be one of the options needed for new generation under a federal carbon regime. The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily suspended the EPA Clean Power Plan pending legal challenge before the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit.

But if the Clean Power Plan is not overturned by the courts, western states like Arizona could face steep carbon reduction mandates, according to the IRP.

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is currently studying development of a NuScale Power SMR facility within the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site in Idaho.

APS is also conducting an all-source request for proposals (RFP) for up to 600-MW.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.