The Midwest from Nebraska to Pennsylvania is well suited to new datacenters and all the owners want carbon-free energy, hence this announcement. Advancements in AI are only increasing the datacenter race. There will be a boom for all things related to datacenters (including clean energy) in this area of the country for at least the next 5-10 years.
Not just the Midwest. There are plans to power data centers in Virginia with renewables plus SMRs.
From the link…
The industrial park project, called the Surry Green Energy Center (SGEC), would feature a hub powered by on-site renewable energy and SMRs. Officials familiar with the project said it could include four to six SMRs that would provide energy for 20 to 30 data centers, along with generating hydrogen fuel and providing backup power for the Virginia grid.
This project would be built adjacent to the existing Surry nuclear plant, near Norfolk and Newport News.
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In other news, Microsoft is looking to power data centers from SMRs.
Bill Gates is one of the major backers of TerraPower, which is looking to build SMRs and larger, but more unorthodox reactors. TerraPower is coordinating with one of Warren Buffett’s power companies to build a demonstration nuclear plant in Wyoming.
All of these projects may not get off the ground, but hopefully a few will. One complicating factor is the recent and widespread monetary inflation that has caused costs for many types of new construction to greatly increase. Its not just nuclear that has been hurt. But until the government can show it has inflation on a short leash, big new projects may not be justifiable.