U.S. Department of Energy Selects Calvert Cliffs 3 For Final Due Diligence and Detailed Negotiations Under Loan Guarantee Program
Action Builds Certainty for UniStar’s Planned Fleet of Advanced Nuclear Energy Facilities in U.S.
BALTIMORE.- UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC (UniStar), a strategic joint venture between Constellation Energy and EDF Group, the global leader in nuclear power, today announced that its Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 nuclear energy facility is among four projects chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to enter the final phase of due diligence for a portion of $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees for advanced nuclear projects. The selection positions UniStar to move forward with detailed negotiations leading to a conditional commitment under the program.
DOE’s decision means that UniStar is another step closer to developing an advanced nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs in Lusby, Md. The project would create thousands of jobs and provide electricity to the Mid-Atlantic region 24/7 without producing greenhouse gases.
“This decision by the Department of Energy is another milestone in our efforts to build certainty for our proposed Calvert Cliffs Unit 3, and with it, certainty for our planned fleet of advanced new nuclear facilities at selected sites throughout the U.S.,” said George Vanderheyden, president and chief executive officer of UniStar Nuclear Energy.
The DOE announcement closely follows another important milestone for the project. On April 28, a hearing examiner assigned by the Maryland Public Service Commission issued a proposed order approving UniStar’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the Calvert Cliffs 3 facility. The proposed CPCN order could become final later this month.
“We look forward to beginning the detailed due diligence and negotiations with DOE for a conditional commitment, as well as to receiving required state permits,” said Vanderheyden. “Our objective is to obtain a conditional commitment from DOE by the end of the year so we may begin preliminary site work shortly thereafter.”
A new reactor at Calvert Cliffs would represent one of the largest economic and industrial development projects in Maryland’s history, and would provide enough clean, safe, reliable and greenhouse-gas-emissions-free electricity to power 1.3 million homes. It would play a meaningful role in helping to rebuild the U.S. economy and manufacturing sector with new construction, engineering and skilled-craft jobs. Finally, a new nuclear energy facility at Calvert Cliffs would help Maryland and the nation meet environmental targets, while adding needed 24/7 capacity to meet growing demand for carbon-free energy.
The 1,600-megawatt reactor is proposed to be built next to Constellation Energy’s existing Calvert Cliffs facility in Southern Maryland, and would create up to 4,000 construction jobs and approximately 400 permanent jobs.
In addition, two UniStar partners, AREVA and Alstom, are moving forward with major investments that will create additional nuclear-energy related jobs in the U.S. AREVA, in a joint venture with Northrop Grumman, plans to break ground this summer on a Newport News, Va., facility that will construct heavy reactor components for the US EPRTM –a $360 million investment that will create 500 jobs. Alstom has announced plans to invest $200 million and create 350 jobs in Chattanooga, Tenn. to manufacture turbine generator systems, including those that will be used by UniStar’s first four planned nuclear energy facilities.
The DOE Loan Guarantee Program is intended to spur the development and construction of energy projects employing innovative technologies that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases. UniStar anticipates that the DOE loan guarantees are able to be combined with financing from export credit agencies, further leveraging the $18.5 billion pool from DOE.
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