Hinkley Point cost estimates skyrocket
The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has dramatically increased estimates of how much the Hinkley Point C nuclear project will cost in subsidies over the course of its operational lifetime.
This news comes amid assurances from France’s EDF, the utility firm building the facility, that Brexit will not have an effect on whether or not construction goes ahead.
New figures released by DECC yesterday indicate that Hinkley will cost £37 billion in total subsidies — not the £14 billion the department indicated a year ago.
According to Bloomberg, the estimate reflects the difference between the £92.50 pounds the government has agreed to pay per megawatt hour for 25 years, and revised long-term forecasts for the price of wholesale electricity prices.
Officials said the latest energy figures were calculated using data from 2015, when wholesale energy prices were comparatively low.
"We have set the strike price to protect bill payers if energy costs go up or down, so the cost of the project to consumers will not change," a DECC spokesman said in a statement. "Today's report from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority does not suggest that the lifetime costs of Hinkley have increased. It is a snapshot of the position at the end of September 2015."
Some experts have called the new estimate “shocking”. Hinkley Point C has long been plagued by concerns about viability and a final investment decision, which has been delayed several times, is expected in September.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.