Today David Cameron finally made the announcement that the strike price has been agreed with EDF, the developer of the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C thus bringing to an end years of speculation about the project going ahead.
Labour leader on Sedgemoor Mick Lerry, who has played a large part in cross party negotiations to ensure the element of community benefit settlement provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change will go ahead, gave his own welcome to the announcement today.
” The Government has now agreed the Contract for Difference, regarding the strike price for energy generated from Hinkley C. This will mean that eventually after a protracted period, the project will go ahead and provide an estimated 25,000 jobs. These employment opportunities for local people and business will be welcomed by the community. With this agreement it will mean that people will be subsidising energy in Britain, when the price for energy falls below the strike price. Therefore with the price of energy at the present, people will be cautious about the price of energy in the future. This will be an important step towards the building of the energy infrastructure in Britain and the reduction of carbon omissions, which have an impact on climate change. It will now be important to make sure that the impact on Bridgwater during the construction period is minimised and opportunities of economic growth are inherited, to avoid Boom and Bust”.
1. The Department for Energy and Climate Change has today announced that it has reached agreement with developer, EDF, to pay them £92.50 for every megawatt hour Hinkley Point C generates (The key terms include a “Strike Price” of £89.50 /MWh fully indexed to the Consumer Price Index. This price benefits from an upfront reduction of £3/MWh built in on the assumption that the developer would be able to share the first of a kind costs of the EPR reactors across the HPC and Sizewell C sites. If the EDF Group does not take a final investment decision on Sizewell C, the Strike Price for HPC would be £92.50/MWh).
2. The full announcement can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/initial-agreement-reached-on-new-nuclear-power-station-at-hinkley
3. With the agreement of the strike price and the go ahead for the power station, the community benefit package will now go ahead. The Department for Energy and Climate Change announced on 17 July that local communities around Hinkley Point C compensated at a rate of £1,000 per Megawatt for the entire operation of the plant. With Hinkley Point C expected to be in operation for 40 years, this could amount to £128 million in funding. The full announcement by the Department for Energy and Climate Change can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/community-benefits-for-sites-that-host-new-nuclear-power-stations-michael-fallon.
4. SDC has been campaigning on community benefit contributions for five years, negotiating with Ministers, MPs and civil servants, consistently raising this issue in Parliament and making its case to officials, policy makers, other councils and the nuclear industry. The Council’s campaign for community benefit contributions has been shortlisted best public affairs campaign of the year by Corporate Communications magazine.
5. The Community Benefits will be shared by the communities affected by the plant. The money could be used for a range of local projects for those who will not see any direct and tangible benefits themselves, such as facilities for the elderly and measures to address fuel poverty.