Amazon buys Nuclear-Powered Data Center

According to Nuclear Newswire, Talen Energy announced the sale of Cumulus Data Assets, its 960-megawatt data center campus to cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon, for $650 million. Cumulus sits on a 1,200-acre campus in Pennsylvania and is directly powered by the adjacent Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, which generates 2.5 gigawatts of power.

“We believe this is a transformative transaction with long term benefits,” said Mark “Mac” McFarland, Talen president and chief executive officer of Talen, on a Monday call with investors and media. As power demand continues to rise worldwide, “data centers are at the heart of that growth,” he added.

“Several years ago, Amazon set an ambitious goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040—ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. As part of that goal, we’re on a path to power our operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025—five years ahead of our original 2030 target,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “To supplement our wind and solar energy projects, which depend on weather conditions to generate energy, we’re also exploring new innovations and technologies and investing in other sources of clean, carbon-free energy. This agreement with Talen Energy for carbon-free energy is one project in that effort.”

The Susquehanna nuclear power plant is the sixth largest nuclear power plant in the United States and produces 63 million kilowatt hours per day. Its two General Electric boiling water reactors have been on line since 1983 and are licensed to operate through 2042 and 2044, respectively. Talen, its majority owner, is a Houston, Texas-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2022 as part of a financial restructuring. The company exited bankruptcy in 2023, and officials have said that this recent transaction with AWS is a boost to its cash flow. After paying off debts, interest and other costs, Talen expects net proceeds of $361 million from the deal with Amazon.

Read more at Nuclear Newswire “Amazon buys nuclear-powered data center from Talen,”  March 7, 2024.

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