CommercialReactors

AWS Taps Into Nuclear Data Center for $650M

Image: Talen Energy

AWS is taking the nuclear route to power its next data center project.

Amazon’s cloud computing arm is paying $650M to Talen Energy for a 1,200-acre data center campus that hooks right into Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, one of the US’ largest nuclear power plants. AWS will build up the Cumulus Data campus over the next several years, with the opportunity to use up to 960 MW of guaranteed nuclear power per year.

The details of the deal:

  • The center’s minimum power utilization reqs will step up by 120 MW per year.
  • AWS will have a one-time option to cap its power commitments at 480 MW.
  • The company will also have two 10-year extension options tied to potential extensions of the plant’s operating licenses. The plant’s two reactors are currently licensed through 2042 and 2044.
  • $350M is due up front, and the other $300M will be held in escrow and paid upon the completion of development milestones over the course of this year.

The Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania has been up and running since 1983 and will provide power from day one as Amazon expands the center. 

Oh so popular: Nuclear is well-suited to meet the growing power needs of data-hungry advances in cloud computing and AI on a by-project basis, granting data center operators access to a steady, reliable power source.

“Power demand is growing for the first time in years, and AI and data centers are at the heart of that growth,” Talen President and CEO Mac McFarland said.
The numbers track. According to a 2023 McKinsey analysis, the demand for power coming from data centers is expected to more than double between 2022 and 2030, growing from 17 GW to 35 GW globally.

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