Monday, January 10, 2011

Duke deal with Progress would create $14 billion utility

The two firms have a combined total of six Westinghouse AP1000 reactor license applications pending with the NRC

Duke Energy announced Jan 10 it plans to buy Progress Energy for $13.7 billion in a deal that will create America’s largest utility with the largest fleet of commercially operational nuclear reactors in the country.

The new company, to be called Duke Energy, will have a combined value of $65 billion and about 57 GWe of domestic generating capacity from a diversified mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, oil and renewable resources. About 16% of the generating capacity of the combined firm would come from nuclear energy. It would become the largest regulated single fleet of nuclear reactors in the U.S.

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The NRC lists six Westinghouse AP1000 reactors with pending license applications for the two companies. At Progress they are Levy County, FL, 1 & 2; and Shearon Harris, NC, 2 & 3. At Duke it is the William States Lee III plant in SC.

The pace on all six combined construction and operating license applications has ground to a halt while the two firms grapple with the implications of diminished electricity demand due to the ongoing deep recession in the U.S.

The combined company would serve over seven million customers. The combined rate base could make the difference in obtaining funding for the new reactor projects planned by both companies.

Both firms, but especially Progress, have worried about the "bet the company" costs associated with new reactors. Recent unofficial estimates for the twin reactors at Levy County put the combined cost, plus infrastructure improvements to the Florida grid, as $14 billion.

Read the full details at CoolHandNuke, a nuclear energy jobs portal and a whole lot more.

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1 comment:

Pete said...

The largest nuclear fleet? Exelon currently operates 17 reactors. I count Duke and Progress operating 7 and 5 reactors respectively. If all of the planned plants get built, then maybe the new Duke would be the biggest. But what is the likelihood of that? Maybe one or two plants will be in construction under the best of conditions.