Tag Archives: Ernest Moniz

Energy storage technology research at Binghamton U. NY

What would happen if VSU applied for such a research grant?

According to its own PR of 19 June 2014, Binghamton University receives $12.8 million for innovative energy research,

The NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES) at Binghamton University has been awarded a $12.8 million, four-year grant, announced Wednesday by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. One of 32 grants awarded for a total of $100 million to fund Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), it will help accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a new 21st-century energy economy.

One of 32 grants? Some EFRC partner institutions Continue reading

Fourth extension on Vogtle nuclear loan guarantee deadline

Southern Company doesn’t want to pay $17 to $52 million to get an $8.33 billion federal loan guarantee. That’s 0.2% to 0.62%. Why should we guarantee SO’s bad bet for pennies down? Let’s just call it off!

Ray Henry wrote for AP yesterday, Talks continue over Ga. nuclear plant loans,

Three years after the U.S. government promised $8.3 billion in lending for a nuclear plant in Georgia, Southern Co. and its partners have not sealed a deal.

President Barack Obama’s administration recently agreed to a fourth extension of the deadline for finalizing lending agreements between Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and the other owners of the nuclear plant now under construction. Congress authorized the funding in 2005 to revive a nuclear industry that at the time expected growth.

Few utilities secured even a preliminary agreement, mostly because power companies dropped plans to build nuclear plants. The Great Recession trimmed the demand for energy, and plummeting natural gas prices made it cheaper to build gas-fired plants. The slumping economy also pushed interest rates to historic lows, reducing borrowing costs and undercutting the need for subsidized lending.

All that and ten nukes have been closed or cancelled in the past year. Even France’s EDF has exited nukes in the U.S. and has already built more U.S. solar and wind power than SO’s new Plant Vogtle nukes would produce.

Southern Company now claims this federal loan guarantee isn’t necessary: Continue reading

Vogtle nuke loan deadline extended for third time

We don’t know the federal cost estimates or the terms and conditions or why Plant Vogtle just got another three month extension on that $8.33 billion federal loan guarantee.

Rob Pavey wrote for the August Chronicle yesterday, Federal loan guarantee offer for Vogtle expansion extended again,

The owners of Plant Vogtle have secured — for the third time — an extension to allow further negotiation with the U.S. Energy Department over its 2010 offer of up to $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees to help finance two new nuclear reactors.

Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia were conditionally approved in February 2010 for loan-guarantee financing, in which the government promises to assume a company’s debt if the company defaults. However, the details were never agreed on. Two extensions have since expired, with the most recent deadline — June 30 — passing without any formal agreement in place. Jeannice M.W. Hall, a Southern Co. spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Wednesday that the new extension sets a Sept. 30 deadline for completing the loan guarantee arrangements.

With Southern Company’s stock already downgraded because of Kemper Coal and Plant Vogtle, after S&P’s downgraded SO’s credit, and with still more cost overruns at Kemper on top of Vogtle being 19 months late and a billion dollars over budget, as Gloria Tatum asked back in May, why is SO gambling on nuclear instead of solar?

If you’re tired of this, you can ask DoE Secretary Ernest Moniz to revoke that loan.