Very depressing news from the San Antonio Express-News this afternoon:
CPS Energy could end up buying additional nuclear power from the proposed plant expansion at the South Texas Project if the terms are favorable, CEODoyle Beneby told the Express-News editorial board Thursday morning.
Beneby said NRG Energy, which owns a majority stake in the yet-to-be built pair of plants, approached him “informally” recently about acquiring more power from the plants, as either an increased equity stake or a purchase power agreement.
CPS and NRG hardly seem like likely allies:
CPS and NRG were once equal partners in the expansion, but a leaked, higher cost estimate ultimately torpedoed the deal, leading to a $32 billion lawsuit that was ultimately settled with CPS owning just 7.6 percent of the project.
The reason for the shift? Taxpayer dollars:
Beneby told the editorial board that the U.S. Department of Energy had recently alerted the utility that the federal loan guarantee necessary for the project had successfully cleared another internal hurdle and that a decision to award the project billions in guarantees could come in as little as two months.
Beneby explained what’s different now:
He acknowledged the potential political ramifications of re-engaging a company CPS loudly and publicly accused of acting in bad faith.
But “it’s a totally different situation this time,” Beneby said. “We’re leading this time.”
Yes, Charlie Brown, Lucy’s going to let you kick the football this time….