Federal loan guarantees for nuclear development should help Constellation Energy

Federal loan guarantees for nuclear development should help Constellation Energy, investors – Examiner.com

 BALTIMORE (Map, News) – Constellation Energy has already proved to be quite profitable for investors this year, and a recent decision by the Department of Energy could lead to future nuclear development opportunities for the Baltimore firm.

The DOE last week issued final regulations for the loan guarantee program authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, paving the way for billions of dollars in future federal support of clean energy products using innovative technologies.

Constellation commended the DOE for its efforts to improve a federal loan program designed to support the potential development of new nuclear power plants in the United States.

“We have consistently maintained that a workable loan guarantee program is essential to ensure nuclear power delivers on its promise as the only safe, reliable, emission-free technology that can meet the nation’s energy needs in the 21st century,” Michael J. Wallace, executive vice president of Constellation Energy, said in a statement.
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“This new rule is a positive step forward in helping bring about a nuclear renaissance,” Wallace added.

The DOE’s final regulations provide guarantees for 100 percent of the amount borrowed, up to 80 percent of a project’s total costs.

In a previous interview with The Examiner, George Vanderheyden, president of UniStar, a joint venture between Constellation and Europe’s EDF Group focused on the development of U.S. nuclear power plants, said a workable federal loan program was the greatest obstacle in the path of the development of nuclear plants.

Vanderheyden said there is a possibility UniStar would construct a third reactor at Constellation’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. At the earliest, a decision to build could be made by 2009, with a new U.S. nuclear plant online by 2015.

The average nuclear plant, which costs about $4 billion to build, generates total state and local tax revenue of almost $20 million each year.

Constellation, with 2006 revenues of $19.3 billion, has already had a positive 2007, with its share price increasing almost 30 percent from the beginning of the year, as reported in The Examiner’s series “Power Struggle” on Sept. 24 and 25.

Constellation is part of The Examiner Top 10, a portfolio of some the largest publicly traded companies in the Baltimore region.


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