Equinix has signed a pre-agreement with small nuclear reactor firm Oklo to procure up to 500MW of nuclear energy. It is the first SMR deal signed by a colocation data center company.

Oklo's small fast fission reactors are capable of producing up to 15MW of power and can operate for 10 years or longer before refueling [Oklo reached out to DCD to say calling it an SMR company is "inaccurate"].

The company is in the midst of a reverse merger with SPAC AltC Acquisition, which is expected to take the company public in July.

oklo small modular nuclear reactor.png
An Oklo reactor – Oklo | Gensler

In an S4 filing with the SEC this week by AltC Acquisition Corp ahead of the merger, the company revealed a deal with data center colocation firm Equinix.

Following a letter of intent signed in February, Equinix has made a $25 million prepayment to Oklo for the supply of power by Oklo.

The filing notes the funding is being treated as Permitted Equity Financing – potentially giving Equinix a stake in Oklo totaling around 1.5-1.9 percent, depending on different scenarios once the merger closes.

Update: However, Equinix provided the following statement to DCD: "As part of this LOI, Equinix made a pre-payment which is expected to be used toward the purchase of power through future PPAs, anticipated when Oklo begins operating their powerhouse fast fission plants. Equinix does not hold an option to purchase equity in the company, and we understand Oklo and AltC Acquisition Corp. plan to amend their S-4 filing imminently to clarify our relationship.”

Original story resumes: The letter of intent is for Equinix to purchase power from Oklo’s planned ‘powerhouses’ to serve Equinix’s data centers in the US on a 20-year timeline – at rates decided in future Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Equinix will have the right to renew and extend PPAs for additional 20-year terms.

Details on where Oklo may be building these powerhouses weren't shared; though the company has an agreement in place with Centrus to deploy Oklo powerhouses in southern Ohio.

The letter provides Equinix the right of first refusal for 36 months for the output of certain powerhouses for power capacity of no less than 100MWe and up to a cumulative maximum of 500MWe.

The $25 million gives Equinix the option to either receive Oklo stock or the supply of power at a discount.

SMRs, which are also under development at companies including NuScale and the UK's Rolls-Royce, have been proposed as a potential source of low-carbon energy for data centers which could effectively allow facilities to operate independently from the local grid.

Last year Blockchain firm Standard Power announced plans to procure 24 SMRs from NuScale for two US data center sites.

Microsoft has previously signed a nuclear carbon credits deal with Ontario Power Generation for its operations in Canada, and recently signed an energy agreement deal with nuclear fusion startup Helion (though doubts remain on the latter's ability to deliver by the announced date, if at all). It has also signed a 24/7 nuclear power deal with Constellation to power its Boydton data center in Virginia.