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Integrated Nuclear Energy and Data Centers as Virtual Power Plants

Aaron Epiney  (IES Modeling and Simulation lead, Idaho National Laboratory)

Paul Talbot  (IES System Simulation Lead, Idaho National Laboratory)

Location: Room 201

Date: Wednesday, April 17

Time: 2:35 pm - 3:30 pm

Pass Type: AFCOM Solution Provider, All Access Conference, Industry Conference, Standard Conference - Get your pass now!

Track: Design, Build, Operate, Control

Session Type: Conference Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All Audiences

Decarbonization of the energy sector is best accomplished while considering the intricate interplay between dynamic electricity availability from renewable energy sources and clean firm baseload from hydroelectric and nuclear power generation. With increasing variability in load demand such as electric vehicles compounded by increased volatility from renewable energy sources, recent investigation includes "virtual power plants" coupling zero-carbon clean firm energy sources with industrial power consumers that can shed load on short notice to benefit the energy grid. Data centers represent a prime candidate for this opportunity. Nuclear integration reduces carbon footprint for energy, heating, and cooling needs during nominal operation. As a service to the grid, data centers can not only curtail some operations, but make local energy from the on-site nuclear plant available as well. This can provide substantial value to the grid, and the need for such load shedding in a few peak hours is expected only to increase in time.


  • Nuclear and Data Centers: a net-zero emission virtual power plant
  • Benefits of Nuclear Energy as Clean, Firm Power
  • Timeline: how soon can nuclear be an option?
  • Economics: what kind of return for these services can be expected?
  • Analysis: find out what is ideal for you
  • Collaboration: work with Department of Energy national laboratories to investigate possibilities