The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been approved by Government today. The UK’s first nuclear plant for 20 years will be allowed to go ahead, but with new requirements on its owner, EDF. Ministers have also decided to impose ‘significant new safeguards’ for future foreign investment in nuclear energy which will apply after Hinkley.
The revised agreement with EDF includes:
- The Government being able to prevent EDF Energy from selling a controlling stake after Hinkley is complete, without prior notification
- The Government being able to intervene in the sale once it is operational
Meanwhile, a new legal framework for future nuclear energy projects will mean that, after Hinkley, the Government will take a ‘special share’ in all future nuclear new build projects
Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Greg Clark said:
“Having thoroughly reviewed the proposal for Hinkley Point C, we will introduce a series of measures to enhance security and will ensure Hinkley cannot change hands without the Government’s agreement. Consequently, we have decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation.”
The Contracts for Difference for EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C power stations would provide a set inflation-linked price of £92.50 (2011/12 price) per megawatt hour for 35 years once the plant begins operating. When the wholesale price is below the agreed strike price the difference is paid to the generator, with the cost passed on to consumers.