EU Commision approves British nuclear power plant

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EU Commision approves British nuclear power plant

The European Commission has approved the state aid case for the development of a new 3,200 MW two reactor nuclear power station at the Hinkley Point C plant, in Somerset, England.

The state aid case included both the proposed Contract for Difference, which provides the developer with an increased price certainty for the electricity generated by the plant, and the proposed UK Guarantee for the project, which will help unlock debt finance.

EDF Group and other investors will be responsible for funding the project. Last October’s agreement in principle with EDF remains in place.

  • The “strike price” for Hinkley Point C remains set at £92.50/MWh or £89.50/MWh if the planned power station at Sizewell goes ahead
  • The contract will last for 35 years
  • The strike price is fully indexed to inflation through the Consumer Price Index
  • The project will be protected from certain changes in law

The Government and EDF are continuing to work together to finalise the Hinkley project, including the full terms of the Contract for Difference and the financing arrangements for the project.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey stated:

This is an important next step on the road to Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation. While there is much work still to do before a final contract can be signed, today’s announcement is a boost to our efforts to ensure Britain has secure, affordable low carbon electricity in the 2020s.

“After a thorough, detailed and independent analysis of our proposed project with EDF, this decision shows the European Commission agrees that this is a good deal for consumers and enables us now to proceed to the next stage.”

New nuclear power stations like Hinkley will be vital in the next decade for Britain’s energy security as most of the country’s existing nuclear stations are due to close before 2023. New nuclear power stations will also be key to cutting the carbon emissions from Britain’s electricity industry in the UK’s future low carbon energy mix.

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