Last Energy, a U.S.-based commercial developer of nuclear power plants, recently secured power purchase agreements for 34 PWR-20 small modular reactor units with four industrial partners in the UK and Poland. The deal is estimated to be worth $18.9B in power sales, and if so, marks the largest pipeline of new nuclear power plants under development in the world. Last Energy was established in 2020 by Bret Kugelmass. He is also the founder of the Energy Impact Center, an American research institute. Last Energy provides full-cycle nuclear project development, including SMR design, construction, financing, service, and decommissioning.
The PWR-20 is a 20 MWe single-loop pressurized water reactor with modular design. The reactor uses standard full-length PWR fuel, enriched to 4.95%, and closed-cycle air cooling. The power plant modules will be built off-site and assembled in modules onsite. Last Energy says their reactor could be assembled within 24 months of the final investment decision and has an assumed lifetime of 42 years.
Because their design uses a standardized balance of plant configuration with modular construction, a plant can be fully factory fabricated and installed on-site in as little as three months. This simplifies the regulatory process, keeps project costs below $100m, and unlocks both private financing and customer validation, the company notes. We cover all aspects of the investment process, including design, construction, financing, service, and operation.
PPAs for ten 20 MWe plants were signed with Katowice Special Economic Zone in southwestern Poland. KSSE, established in 1997, hosts 540 companies. The first plant at KSSE could be commissioned in 2026.
KSSE Management Board President Janusz Michalek says industrial investors are looking for a secure carbon-free power supply, which they could seamlessly scale as their power requirements increase. This project would provide the type of security and certainty in energy supply and price that our industrial partners need to make long-term investments in our area.
Last Energy also announced PPAs for 24 SMRs in the UK as part of three industrial partnerships – details were not disclosed.
The demand for zero-carbon, baseload energy solutions is huge, and micro nuclear is an ideal solution for distributed energy users, said Last Energy UK CEO Mike Reynolds. Our private sector led approach to delivering new nuclear power, supports the wider government efforts to promote growth and investment in the green industries of the future.
However, the 2026 date for plant operation in Poland and the UK may prove optimistic as the plant designs will need to obtain the necessary licenses.