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APA Utah News & Events

Powering Utah

November 20, 2023 by Nicole Mason

Any opinions in this post are shared for informational purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of APA UT.

Tim Fitzpatrick and Trent Nelson had a few articles about the future of electricity in Utah this month.

Going up is a new power plant outside of Delta that will be one of a kind. The IPP Renewed project replaces a 40-year-old coal-fired power plant with a new gas-fired plant that will burn natural gas and increase amounts of hydrogen.

The hydrogen will be produced from solar energy and then stored in massive salt caverns 2,500 feet below the surface. The caverns can hold so much hydrogen that they essentially function as months of battery storage. By 2045, the plant operators hope to be completely hydrogen-fueled, making it a carbon-free energy source.

Going down are plans for a nuclear power plant in Idaho. A couple of dozen Utah cities that operate their electricity systems have been working on a nuclear power project that would have been built at Idaho National Laboratory, but the project was canceled this week because they couldn’t get enough others to join them.

The “CarbonFree Power Project” included a handful of small modular reactors from a Portland company called NuScale. The cities had spent hundreds of thousands on preliminary work on the plant, but they watched the cost more than double since it was first proposed in 2015. Rising costs are common in nuclear projects, which makes power companies wary.

In other related news, a draft bill proposing an Intermountain Power Project Board with a majority of legislators, would replace current cities’ oversight and seek a longer life for coal.

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