UK-based hybrid clean energy company Shearwater Energy is developing a wind small modular reactor (SMR) and hydrogen production hybrid energy project in North Wales.
The project will provide 3 GW of zero-carbon energy and is also expected to produce over three-million kilograms of green hydrogen a year for use by the UK’s transport sector, ensuring full use of the energy produced.
Shearwater selected SMR technology being developed by US firm NuScale Power to provide the clean, baseload and load-following energy for the proposed hybrid energy project.
In addition, Shearwater has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NuScale Power to further collaborate on advancing the proposed project.
Shearwater has also submitted an outline proposal to the British government and the governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Shearwater says these governments stand to derive “considerable economic benefits” in connection with the proposed project.
Under the MoU, Shearwater and NuScale will generally explore opportunities for the combined generation of nuclear power based on NuScale’s SMR technology, offshore wind energy and hydrogen production at sites in the UK, with a flagship opportunity being explored at Wylfa on Anglesey.
NuScale will also support Shearwater as it continues to develop the project, including conducting project-specific engineering, planning and licensing activities for its SMR technology.
NuScale’s assessment of the UK supply chain concluded that more than 75% of the content of a NuScale plant could be sourced from within the UK. Both parties are committed to further exploring British companies’ capabilities to participate in increasing the local content of this project.
Shearwater CEO Simon Forster explains that combining low-carbon generating technologies enables the company to achieve similar performance characteristics to large thermal plants without the high cost, long construction time and environmental legacy.
“When fully developed, an SMR wind plant at Wylfa will provide . . . electricity at a fraction of the cost of a conventional nuclear power station with surplus energy generation focused on the production of hydrogen.”
He says power generation at Wylfa could begin as early as 2027.
NuScale Power chairperson and CEO John Hopkins says that, with deep knowledge and expertise in the clean energy sector of the UK, Shearwater Energy understands the unique challenges facing the energy needs of the region.
“NuScale looks forward to demonstrating the innovative features of our SMR design, and how our load-following capability is a perfect complement to Shearwater’s offshore wind project as the country seeks to meet its clean energy goals.”
A Shearwater-NuScale wind-nuclear energy system will provide reliable, load-following power to overcome intermittency and grid stability issues, according to both companies.