It's a facility that provides carbon free or low carbon energy to surrounding communities. It literally has the concept of putting more into the communities that surround it - in terms of energy, in terms of jobs, in terms of tax revenue - than it takes away. And there's one that's been planned off and on for some time right here in Ohio.
There are several such parks under consideration right now around the country, which would merge both renewables (solar and wind) on the same site as nuclear to provide economical 24/7 power, whether the sun was shining or whether the wind was blowing or not. The lowest cost power would theoretically always be available, whether nuclear base load or solar or wind peaking, from these clean energy parks. Click here to see some of the locations under consideration.
Read about the Ohio Clean Energy Park at this link.
Progress on this concept has been slow; however, some progress continues to be made, and we can see the direction the project is going at this link.
The nuclear plant under consideration is the AREVA US-EPR, whose licensing process for construction in the United States is still underway. This is a GENIII+ nuclear plant with enhanced safety features, and which takes account of considerations post-Fukushima through the use of four redundant safety injection trains that can get water into the nuclear steam supply system for emergency cooling. These nuclear plants are typically rated over 1600 MWe, which is a considerable boost in non-greenhouse-gas-emitting power to Ohio. The power availability of the renewable installation isn't determined yet.
Below, a graphic (courtesy AREVA USA) showing how the Clean Energy Park concept relates to you (see "consumer" at the top), the community, and the government. Click to enlarge.
The idea has a great potential for answering the major question we have today -- namely, "How do we get to a reduced carbon, reduced greenhouse gas future without sacrificing our lifestyles, our industry, our transportation and safety?" This concept could be part of a great and industry-leading initiative if Ohio can proceed with it. We'll keep our eye on this project, and in fact intend to see if we can get some more specific, and more up-to-date information about it.
(Above, an artists' rendering of what the nuclear plant portion of a clean energy park concept would look like -- this is the AREVA EPR in an exterior view, courtesy AREVA USA. The actual plant might also include a large cooling tower or two -- or, could use lower, less unsightly forced-air cooling towers which are actually fairly common both at nuclear and coal fired electric plants.)
October 19, 2014