Perry announced the Energy Department would provide $3.7 billion in loan guarantees to three Georgia utilities struggling to complete a pair of nuclear reactors at the Alvin W.
The nuclear project has been running far over-budget and behind schedule, and the utilities have been scrambling to come up with financing after the main engineering company, Westinghouse, declared bankruptcy earlier this year.
Many Republicans have criticized the Energy Department’s loan guarantees, often citing a loan given to Solyndra, a photovoltaic panel manufacturer that went bankrupt.
Citing his department’s recent, contested study about the workings of the electric grid, Perry asked the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to adopt new regulations that would ensure coal and nuclear plants that add to the grid’s reliability can “[recover] fully allocated costs and thereby continue to provide the energy security on which our nation relies.” Perry’s letter to FERC, and the proposed regulation, argue these so-called “baseload” plants provide critical stability and reliability to the electric grid and should be compensated accordingly.
And they’re going to use relatively more coal and nuclear relative to gas, wind and solar.” Mark Kresowik, a deputy regional director for the northeast with the Sierra Club, said he thought that if FERC actually adopted the proposed policy, it would lead to lawsuits or even states dropping out of certain regional electricity markets that would be affected, which primarily lie in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.