The CIB, a federal organisation that finances revenue-generating infrastructure projects, said the investment was its largest in clean power to date.
The CIB’s investment will finance Phase 1 work at OPG’s SMR project, which is to be built next to the company’s existing Darlington nuclear power station in Clarington, Ontario.
In 2021 OPG chose GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 SMR for the project and aims to complete the first commercial, grid-scale unit as soon as 2028.
The Darlington SMR will be one of the first ever developed and is expected to spearhead similar projects in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta, with interest also growing in the US and Europe.
The project will also support Canadian efforts to become a global SMR technology hub in a market estimated to be CAD150bn per year by 2040.
CIB’s investment for Phase 1 covers all preparations prior to nuclear construction including project design, site preparation, procurement of long lead-time equipment, utility connections, implementation of a digital strategy, and related project management costs.
SMRs are a new class of nuclear reactors which are approximately 300 MW or less, have a smaller footprint and a shorter construction schedule, compared to traditional nuclear generating stations. CIN said SMRs can provide zero-carbon baseload power across all regions and are crucial to decarbonising the electricity sector and broader economy.