Last Energy Welcomes Mike Reynolds as United Kingdom CEO
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Last Energy, which has created a new model for the development, delivery, and operation of nuclear power plants, announced today that Mike Reynolds has joined the company as United Kingdom CEO. Reynolds, an energy industry veteran, will spearhead Last Energy’s plans to deploy its small modular reactors (SMRs) and lead its growing team in the UK. Prominent nuclear energy experts Professor Laurence Williams OBE and Paul Foster have also joined the company as members of Last Energy’s UK Advisory Board as the company expands its presence in-country.
Reynolds brings 20 years of experience at energy and climate companies including Vattenfall, SSE, and Natural Capital Partners to his new role at Last Energy. He joins the company at a pivotal moment for the UK’s energy industry. Despite widespread success rolling out large-scale renewable energy—particularly off-shore wind—the UK has failed to replace old nuclear and other baseload power sources. In fact, 35% of the country’s existing nuclear capacity will be shut down by 2030. This gap has left the country highly exposed to the cost-of-energy crisis. This has affected both individuals—who have already seen energy bills spike more than 50% this year—as well as businesses, particularly in the industrial sector. A staggering six out of ten manufacturers are at risk of going out of business due to skyrocketing energy bills as nearly half of UK manufacturers report that their bills have more than doubled in the past year.
Enhancing energy security and affordability are immediate priorities as the country moves to quickly mitigate the energy crisis. To address these challenges, advance its climate goals, and create a more resilient energy strategy, the UK has committed to ramping up home-grown clean energy production—with nuclear power playing a key role. Reynolds will lead Last Energy’s growing team as it works with commercial and government stakeholders to deploy its SMRs and unlock nuclear energy at scale.
“I’ve always been drawn to places where I could have the greatest impact. I got my first job in climate when I was 25 and I’ve never once looked back,” said Reynolds. “I joined Last Energy because I believe their approach to nuclear energy deployment will have the greatest impact, for the most people, the fastest. Nuclear power is an under-leveraged source of abundant, clean, reliable energy. And the UK’s industrial sector is balanced on a cliff edge, shackled to aging gas generation assets and with no credible and resilient decarbonized energy supply in sight. No decarbonization or energy security strategy will be sufficient without enabling nuclear at scale across the energy landscape. It’s time for us to get serious about ramping up the deployment of nuclear to address mounting energy and climate challenges here in the UK and beyond.”
Last Energy’s delivery model uniquely positions the company to efficiently scale nuclear energy production. The company provides the full cycle of nuclear project development for customers—including design, construction, financing, service and maintenance of installations, fuel supply and waste collection, and decommissioning of the power plant at the end of its operation. The company’s micro nuclear power plant leverages a proven pressurized water reactor and fully modular plant design, a unique approach that dramatically reduces the time and cost of building nuclear power plants, while delivering clean baseload energy. Using industry-proven technology and best practices across industries, Last Energy’s development model aims to deliver projects within twenty-four months of signing with customers.
Today, Last Energy also announced that it has formed a UK Advisory Board, with Paul Foster and Professor Laurence Williams OBE as its first members. Foster is a prominent industrial advisor and nuclear expert with deep roots in the nuclear power industry, including nearly 20 years at Sellafield Ltd, a nuclear decommissioning company that sits under the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Williams also has deep experience in the nuclear power industry. Over the last 50 years, he has held a variety of influential roles, including serving as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, NDA’s Director of Nuclear Safety, Security and Environment, and NDA’s Chief Engineer.
“There’s a massive, immediate opportunity for nuclear power in the UK. It can play a critical role in achieving near-term objectives, like mitigating skyrocketing energy costs or enhancing energy security, as well as longer-term goals, like decarbonization,” said Bret Kugelmass, founder and CEO of Last Energy. “But we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible with nuclear; the industrial sector, for example, is still hugely underserved by nuclear energy, and small and micro reactors in particular. Last Energy is assembling an incredible team, led by Mike and supported by folks like Paul and Laurence, to accelerate nuclear energy production and deliver abundant, affordable, clean energy to people across the UK.”
Last Energy is creating a new model for the development and delivery of nuclear power plants. Combining proven reactor technology with a first-of-its-kind delivery model and fully modular plant design, Last Energy aims to decarbonize energy production and increase access to clean, affordable power. To learn more, visit www.lastenergy.com