AmerenUE has pulled the plug on Callaway II.
AmerenUE Senior Vice President for Missouri Energy Delivery, Richard Mark, has told the Missourinet the decision to ask legislative sponsors to no longer pursue construction work in progress, or CWIP , legislation comes in conjunction with the utility’s decision to suspend efforts to build another nuclear power plant. Ameren stunned many at the Capitol today by announcing it would no longer pursue the legislation it has said it needs to build a second nuclear power plant in Callaway County. The first nuclear power plant went on line in 1984.
Mark said that without the legislation, it would be impossible to finance construction of a second plant, expected to cost at least $6 billion and take as many as seven years to build.
Missouri law, at present, prevents a utility from charging customers for the cost of constructing a plant while construction is in progress. Construction costs can only be recouped after the plant begins production. Opposition to Ameren’s proposal to change state law rose immediately in the legislature. Mark, though, said it was the lack of state-wide support, not the opposition, which convinced Ameren officials to abandon their efforts in Jefferson City. Mark said the debate centered on rates, when it should have revolved around the state energy policy.
Mark said Ameren has informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about its decision to suspend plans to build a second nuclear power plant. He indicated the utility might consider selling the license to another utility. He said there are no plans to return to the legislature next year with a revised CWIP proposal.
AmerenUE is Missouri’s largest electric utility. Based in St. Louis, Ameren provides electricity and natural gas to 1.2 million customers in Missouri. Ameren Corporation, which also serves customers in Illinois, has assets of approximately $23 billion.