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NRC Issues Early Site Permit to Tennessee Valley Authority for SMRs at Clinch River Site

LCG, December 27, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced on December 17 that the Commission has authorized the issuance of an Early Site Permit (ESP) for Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The ESP closes several site-related issues, including many environmental impacts, for small modular reactors (SMRs) at the site. The ESP is the first issued by the NRC for SMRs and will be valid for up to 20 years from date of issuance.

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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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Industry News

San Diego County Water Authority Seeks Proposals for 500-MW Pumped Storage Project

LCG, July 21, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Tuesday issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego that would expand use of existing hydroelectric infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The project could potentially dampen water rate increases and provide greater opportunities for renewable energy development in the area.

The pumped-storage, hydroelectric project would provide up to 500 MW of utility-scaled energy storage capacity to (i) complement the growth of solar and wind farms that intermittently generate electricity within the day and over the year, and (ii) improve Southern California's electric grid stability. The associated energy storage capacity of the project would provide five to eight hours of energy storage. By enabling greater development of intermittent renewable electric generating capacity, the pumped-storage project would support California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the requirement for investor owned utilities (IOUs) to procure 50 percent of their energy from renewable energy sources by 2030.

The physical project would include an interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir (which is owned by the City of San Diego) near Lakeside and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill. The system would be used during off-peak energy-use periods when electricity prices are low to pump water uphill to the new upper reservoir, where water would be stored. The water would then be released to the lower reservoir by gravity to generate power when energy demand and electricity prices are higher. As planned, power generated at the San Vicente facility could be delivered to the grid via new electric transmission lines parallel to the Sunrise Power Link, and the new lines would connect to an existing Sycamore Substation owned by SDG&E approximately five miles away.

The chair of the Water Authority's Board of Directors stated, "This potential project is an exciting and innovative opportunity to optimize our water facilities to benefit our ratepayers while helping the region as a whole meet its energy needs. The competitive bidding process will help ensure this potential project delivers maximum value."

The RFP calls for interested parties to provide details of their full-service teams qualified to perform all activities to deliver an operational project. Proposals are due to the Water Authority by September 12, 2017. The Water Authority expects to then evaluate proposals and seek approval from the Board to begin negotiations with a potential full-service team by the end of this year.

The Water Authority currently operates an energy storage facility at Lake Hodges, which in 2011 began its operations of pumping water to Olivenhain Reservoir, where there is an electric generating capacity of 40 MW. The agency's San Vicente Dam Raise Project - completed in 2014 through a partnership with the City of San Diego - provided additional opportunity for energy storage because it created approximately 105,000 acre-feet of new regional carryover storage water supplies and 52,000 acre-feet of new emergency storage capacity, increasing the hydroelectric energy potential at the reservoir site. The Water Authority owns the additional storage capacity created by the dam raise and completed filling its carryover storage capacity in summer 2016.
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