We have been developing high-temperature superconducting (HTS) current leads for a 1 kWh/1 MW module-type SMEs. Each module of a module-type SMES requires a pair of current leads. Therefore, we employed bulk HTS in order to reduce the heat load of the current leads. It is important that HTS current leads for SMES be reliable. The HTS current leads described in this paper have been designed to minimize the heat load and to maintain a high level of reliability. The HTS current leads are designed to hold the heat load at the cold-end terminal to less than 0.1 W. They are also designed with safety leads to bypass current in the event the HTS is quenched and with metal superconductors to assure the continuation of SMES operation even if the HTS should fail or deteriorate in performance. This paper describes an optimal design and the results of a heat load evaluation of HTS current leads for SMES.