RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Friday, Oct. 14 that he is planning on proposing $10 million in the upcoming budget to create a fund geared towards the research and development of “innovative energy technologies.”

The Virginia Power Innovation Fund would deal with nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and utilization and battery storage, the release states. The announcement comes after the release of Youngkin’s  2022 Virginia Energy Plan, the objectives of which include lowering the cost of living, creating jobs, and bringing people to the commonwealth, according to the governor.

The governor’s office announced half of the money would go towards furthering progress on growing Virginia’s nuclear energy industry with the creation of a Virginia Nuclear Innovation Hub. In his 2022 Energy Plan, Youngkin reportedly has the goal of making Virginia the world’s leading nuclear innovation hub.

“Today I am pleased to propose a $10 million investment in the upcoming budget to turn Virginia into a leader in energy innovation,” Youngkin said in a statement. “With technologies like carbon capture and utilization, and resources like critical minerals, hydrogen, and nuclear, we will make Virginia the epicenter for reliable and affordable energy innovation.”   

The proposed money going towards the hub would include:

  • Grants for higher education institutions to study Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR) technology 
  • Funding for nuclear workforce development
  • Additional money for SMR site exploration, including in Southwest Virginia