France’s EDF Energy will lead a consortium, which includes Chinese investors, to build the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset.
Ministers say the deal will help take the UK towards low-carbon power and lower generating costs in future.
Critics warn guaranteeing the group a price for electricity at twice the current level will raise bills. But any new energy for the UK would be more expensive.
The government estimates that with new nuclear power – including Hinkley – the average energy bill in 2030 will be £77 lower than it would have been without the new plants.
All new energy for the UK would be expensive
Ministers and EDF have been in talks for more than a year about the minimum price the company will be paid for electricity produced at the site, which the government estimates will cost £16bn to build.
The two sides have now agreed the “strike price” of £92.50 for every megawatt hour of energy Hinkley C generates. This is almost twice the current wholesale cost of electricity.
This will fall to £89.50 for every megawatt hour of energy if EDF Group goes ahead with plans to develop a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk.
Chinese companies China National Nuclear Corporation and China General Nuclear Power Corporation will be minority shareholders in the project.
SOURCE – BBC News
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