BALTIMORE, May 19, 2009 - UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC (UniStar), a strategic joint venture between Constellation Energy and EDF Group, the global leader in nuclear power, today announced that its Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 nuclear energy facility is among four projects chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to enter the final phase of due diligence for a portion of $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees for advanced nuclear projects. The selection positions UniStar to move forward with detailed negotiations leading to a conditional commitment under the program.
DOE's decision means that UniStar is another step closer to developing an advanced nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs in Lusby, Md. The project would create thousands of jobs and provide electricity to the Mid-Atlantic region 24/7 without producing greenhouse gases.
"This decision by the Department of Energy is another milestone in our efforts to build certainty for our proposed Calvert Cliffs Unit 3, and with it, certainty for our planned fleet of advanced new nuclear facilities at selected sites throughout the U.S.," said George Vanderheyden, president and chief executive officer of UniStar Nuclear Energy.
The DOE announcement closely follows another important milestone for the project. On April 28, a hearing examiner assigned by the Maryland Public Service Commission issued a proposed order approving UniStar's application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the Calvert Cliffs 3 facility. The proposed CPCN order could become final later this month.
"We look forward to beginning the detailed due diligence and negotiations with DOE for a conditional commitment, as well as to receiving required state permits," said Vanderheyden. "Our objective is to obtain a conditional commitment from DOE by the end of the year so we may begin preliminary site work shortly thereafter."
A new reactor at Calvert Cliffs would represent one of the largest economic and industrial development projects in Maryland's history, and would provide enough clean, safe, reliable and greenhouse-gas-emissions-free electricity to power 1.3 million homes. It would play a meaningful role in helping to rebuild the U.S. economy and manufacturing sector with new construction, engineering and skilled-craft jobs. Finally, a new nuclear energy facility at Calvert Cliffs would help Maryland and the nation meet environmental targets, while adding needed 24/7 capacity to meet growing demand for carbon-free energy.
The 1,600-megawatt reactor is proposed to be built next to Constellation Energy's existing Calvert Cliffs facility in Southern Maryland, and would create up to 4,000 construction jobs and approximately 400 permanent jobs.
In addition, two UniStar partners, AREVA and Alstom, are moving forward with major investments that will create additional nuclear-energy related jobs in the U.S. AREVA, in a joint venture with Northrop Grumman, plans to break ground this summer on a Newport News, Va., facility that will construct heavy reactor components for the US EPRTM –a $360 million investment that will create 500 jobs. Alstom has announced plans to invest $200 million and create 350 jobs in Chattanooga, Tenn. to manufacture turbine generator systems, including those that will be used by UniStar's first four planned nuclear energy facilities.
The DOE Loan Guarantee Program is intended to spur the development and construction of energy projects employing innovative technologies that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases. UniStar anticipates that the DOE loan guarantees are able to be combined with financing from export credit agencies, further leveraging the $18.5 billion pool from DOE.
About UniStar Nuclear Energy
UniStar Nuclear Energy, a strategic joint venture between Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) and EDF Group, is powering the nuclear renaissance in North America through industry leadership, disciplined business practices and effective risk-management. Based in Baltimore, Md., UniStar Nuclear Energy provides the licensing, construction and operating services needed to support the expansion of clean, safe and sustainable nuclear energy in the United States.
About Constellation Energy
Constellation Energy (www.constellation.com) is a leading supplier of energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas customers. It owns a diversified fleet of generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 9,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and is among the leaders pursuing the development of new nuclear plants in the United States. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland. A FORTUNE 500 company headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation Energy had revenues of $19.8 billion in 2008.
About EDF Group
The EDF Group, one of the leaders in the energy market in Europe, is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: production, transport, distribution, energy selling and trading. The Group is the leading electricity producer in Europe. EDF's nuclear production capacity, the largest in the world, consists of 58 power plants on 19 sites. In France, it has mainly nuclear and hydroelectric power plants where 95% of the electricity output involves no CO2 emissions. EDF's transport and distribution subsidiaries operate 1,246,000 km of low and medium voltage overhead and underground electricity lines and around 100,000 km of high and very high voltage networks. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to more than 38 million customers around the world, including more than 28 million in France. The Group generated consolidated sales of EUR 59.6 billion, (or $81.06 billion1), in 2007, of which 44 percent originated in Europe excluding France. EDF is listed on the NYSE-Euronext Paris stock exchange as one of the largest market cap companies.
11EUR = 1,36 US$
Lori A. Vidil