South Texas nuclear power project moves forward

18 February 2010 - Nuclear Innovation North America LLC (NINA), the nuclear development company jointly owned by NRG Energy, Inc. and Toshiba Corporation, has reached an agreement with CPS Energy. NINA will increase its ownership in the South Texas Project (STP) units 3&4 and assume full management control for the project, enabling the STP expansion to move forward. The agreement remains subject to final documentation and CPS Board approval which will be requested at its meeting on February 22, 2010.

A 2010 economic study estimated construction of the two units will generate more than $15 billion in business activity across the state with $3.6 billion per year in spending once the two units are operational, anticipated in 2016 and 2017.

The following terms were agreed to in the settlement:

  • NINA will increase its ownership of STP 3&4 by 42.375%, bringing its total ownership interest in the project to 92.375%. CPS Energy will retain a 7.625% interest in the project.
  • Upon receipt of a conditional Department of Energy loan guarantee, NINA will pay CPS Energy $80 million—half paid promptly after award receipt and the other half six months later.
  • NINA will donate $10 million over four years to the Residential Energy Assistance Partnership in San Antonio.
    CPS Energy will work with the DOE to support NINA’s application.
  • NINA will assume all management control of the project.
  • CPS Energy will be responsible for all project development costs incurred through January 31, 2010, with NINA responsible for all project development costs incurred thereafter.
  • All litigation will be dismissed with prejudice.

Steve Winn, Chief Executive Officer of NINA, commented, “We are looking forward to working with San Antonio officials to secure the DOE loan guarantee necessary to proceed with the project.”

The STP expansion will use Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology. Upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of the STP 3&4 combined license, and the STP 3&4 owners’ decision to issue the Full Notice to Proceed, anticipated in 2012, the EPC contract converts to a lump-sum turnkey contract with customary warranties, performance and schedule guarantees, and liquidated damage provisions.

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