Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced that he will propose $10 million in the upcoming budget to create the Virginia Power Innovation Fund for research and development of innovative energy technologies, including nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and utilization, and battery storage.
The Governor also announced $5 million of this funding will advance the goal laid out in the recently released “all-of-the-above” Virginia Energy Plan to grow Commonwealth’s nuclear energy industry by establishing a Virginia Nuclear Innovation Hub. These funds will also include grants for higher education institutions to study Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR) technology, funding for nuclear workforce development, and additional money for SMR site exploration including in Southwest Virginia.
The Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority (VNECA) will facilitate the nuclear innovation hub and its activities to maximize their effectiveness. Established by legislation in 2013, VNECA was established to seize on the Commonwealth’s nuclear advantage and make Virginia a leader in the nuclear energy industry. Under VNECA, the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium (VNEC) was created to represent and bring together stakeholders across the nuclear energy industry including state government, colleges and universities, nuclear energy companies, suppliers, and other organizations that support the advancement of nuclear energy industry. VNEC’s website can be found here.