Looks like on-again off-again Utah nuclear power plant plan is on-again. But can it be built before rooftop solar becomes cheaper than other forms of generation? Not according to a new Union of Concerned Scientists study.

Does it look like the only thing this river is missing is a nuclear power plant? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Apparently, Westinghouse Electric and Blue Castle Holdings don’t think like you and me. Salt Lake City’s Fox affiliate reported today:

A deal has been signed to develop a planned nuclear power plant near Green River.

Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric announced late Wednesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Blue Castle Holdings to develop the plant.

“The executed MOU continues to implement the Blue Castle stepwise approach to risk reduction and favorable economics for utilities and ratepayers. The Blue Castle Project success is rooted in the support we have received from the public, state and local governments to deploy clean, predictable, long-term nuclear electricity generation,” Blue Castle CEO Aaron Tilton said in a statement.

Opponents of the Green River project are afraid that the water required to cool the proposed AP-1000 reactors use vast amounts of water to create electricity that would primarily benefit California users.

The announcement of the deal was announced on the same day that the Union of Concerned Scientists released the results of a new study that says that rooftop solar power is either at parity or near parity with other forms of generation in half the states.

According to a blog at the UCS site:

UCS estimates that with rapid declines in the cost of panels and installations, homes in 11 states plus the District of Columbia can use a federal tax credit and financing to make electricity cheaper than they buy it. Seventeen more states are within three years of this tipping point.

Here’s a map of the states where grid parity has alread been achieved:


Note that three of the states where grid parity has already been achieved are adjacent to Utah: Nevada, Arizona and California. Seems like California should invest in rooftop solar, which certainly could be a quicker and cheaper way to meet their power needs than building a new nuclear power plant along the Green River.



About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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