A developer of small nuclear reactors announced Wednesday that I was canceling a project This was widely expected to usher in a new wave of power plants.

NuScale Power, a Portland, Oregon company, said it lacked enough subscribers to advance the Carbon free energy project, which was expected to deliver six of the company’s 77-megawatt reactors. Although more than two dozen utilities had signed up to buy electricity from the reactors, which would be in Idaho, that number fell short of what NuScale said it needed to move forward.

The Carbon Free Energy Project was the result of an agreement between NuScale and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, which supplies electricity to public energy providers in seven western states, including California. The project was first proposed in 2014.

“This decision is very disappointing given the years of hard pioneering work,” said Mason Baker, executive director of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. “We are working closely with NuScale and the U.S. Department of Energy on the next steps to close the project.”

The decision to cancel the project followed a NuScale update this year regarding the cost of building the reactors, which had skyrocketed from $5.3 billion to $9.3 billion due to rising interest rates and inflation.

NuScale needed to triple the number of carbon-free energy project customers by February. The company, which also has an agreement to deliver its technology to Romania, told investors it would reuse materials developed for the Carbon Free Energy Project for other customers.

NuScale’s share price fell more than 20 percent to $2.37 in after-hours trading. Its value has dropped more than 70 percent in the past 12 months.

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