Oakville, Ontario; Charlotte, North Carolina; and London, United Kingdom – November 7, 2022 – Terrestrial Energy, an advanced nuclear technology development company, and TerraPraxis, an organization that innovates, designs, and accelerates scalable, equitable climate solutions, have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to cooperate on Repowering Coal. Under development by TerraPraxis, Repowering Coal is a program to standardize and systematize the replacement of coal furnaces at existing coal-fired power plants with high-temperature heat supplied by Generation IV nuclear technology.
The Repowering Coal report, authored by TerraPraxis, was launched at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. In partnership with Microsoft, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bryden Wood, Schneider Electric and others, Repowering Coal is a program aimed at integrating clean heat sources with existing infrastructure at coal-fired power plants.
TerraPraxis has selected Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) as the first candidate heat source vendor for its Repowering Coal program due to its unique capabilities. These include its high-temperature heat supply required for coal-fired boiler replacement, and its capacity to be deployed quickly and at the scale necessary to replace 2 Terawatts of global coal capacity by 2050. According to the agreement, Terrestrial Energy and TerraPraxis will work on a standardized systems interface between the IMSR and coal-fired power plant systems, which they will apply to candidate sites as part of the program to repower coal projects in North America and elsewhere.
“Terrestrial Energy is a developer of a leading, next-generation, nuclear technology with unique capabilities for Repowering Coal,” said Kirsty Gogan, managing director of TerraPraxis. “Terrestrial Energy’s high-temperature reactor technology aligns with the vision and mission of Repowering Coal, namely, the rapid and low-cost deployment of Repowering Coal to replace 2 Terawatts of global coal capacity by 2050.”
“TerraPraxis is a visionary leader in climate and energy, focused on practicable, energy-transition pathways,” said Simon Irish, CEO of Terrestrial Energy. “We are pleased to partner with TerraPraxis and its Repowering Coal consortium on a project with such high-impact potential. Repowering coal with Generation IV nuclear can decarbonize a difficult-to-abate part of the energy system rapidly and cost-effectively.”
“We are impressed with Terrestrial Energy’s regulatory capabilities and in particular its consistent and steady progress to conclusion of the Canadian nuclear regulator’s review of the IMSR,” said Eric Ingersoll, managing director of TerraPraxis. “We look forward to incorporating their technology into the design of the Repowering Coal system while mindful of regulatory requirements as we conduct feasibility studies with multiple customers.”
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reported in a September 2022 study that over 300 coal-fired power plants in the United States alone are candidates for the Repowering Coal program. The U.S. DOE estimated that “80% of retired and operating coal power plant sites that were evaluated have the basic characteristics needed to be considered amenable to host an advanced nuclear reactor.” This represents over 260 Gigawatts of electric generation capacity, located at more than 300 sites. The Terrestrial Energy-TerraPraxis partnership extends to repowering coal plants globally, which is an estimated 2-Terawatt opportunity.
In September 2022, TerraPraxis and Microsoft entered into an agreement to deliver a digital solution that will catalyze significant decarbonization in areas where global industry has struggled to get results. TerraPraxis will combine its expertise in energy with Microsoft to build and deploy a set of tools to automate the design and regulatory approval needed to decarbonize coal facilities with nuclear power.
About Terrestrial Energy
Terrestrial Energy is developing for near-term commercial operation a zero-emissions cogeneration plant for global industry using its proprietary Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) fission technology in an innovative, small and modular plant design. The IMSR is a non-Light Water Reactor of the Generation IV class that operates at the high temperature required for broad industrial relevance with transformative economic potential. The IMSR plant is capable of grid-based electric power generation and industrial cogeneration in many energy-intensive industries, including petrochemical and chemical synthesis for hydrogen and ammonia production. The IMSR plant offers a near 50 percent improvement in efficiency of electric power generation compared to Light Water Reactor nuclear plants. Its industrial cogeneration capability delivers to today’s markets industrial competitiveness, security of energy, and zero-emissions industrial production. The IMSR plant’s use of existing industrial materials, components, and fuels supports its near-term deployment, setting the stage for a rapid global decarbonization of the primary energy system.
TerraPraxis is a nonprofit organization that innovates and incubates scalable solutions for a livable planet and human prosperity. TerraPraxis accelerates solutions for neglected areas of the climate challenge—particularly the difficult-to-decarbonize sectors of industrial heat, coal, and heavy transport. For more information about TerraPraxis, please visit www.terrapraxis.org.