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One week until Hinkley C planning D-Day
COUNCIL bosses are praying the Gov-ernment’s arm-wrestle with EDF over the price to be paid for Hinkley C’s energy won’t jeopardise a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for the Bridg-water area.
The biggest milestone to-date in the Hinkley C project will be reached by next Tuesday – the deadline for Energy Secretary Ed Davey to decide if a third nuclear power station in Somerset can go ahead.
While the answer is firmly expected to be ‘yes’, there has been intense media focus over the past week on top-level talks over a Contract for Difference, which would give EDF a guaranteed price for energy produced throughout Hinkley C’s lifetime.
The Daily Telegraph reported that talks were “at crisis point” and could “fail within weeks”, with the Government determined to limit any public subsidies and EDF holding out for the best possible price.
EDF said both sides were working towards a price which “will be fair and balanced for UK consumers and investors”.
A spokesman added: “Agreeing this contract is the key to attracting investors and to unlock funding for this project which will give the UK the secure, low carbon energy it needs for the future.”
Sedgemoor District Council leader Duncan McGinty said: “The sooner EDF Energy can get on with building this station the sooner we can start to put into action all the plans we have to make the most of the opportunities it will bring for our communities and to test the measures we want to put in place to minimise disruption.
“We have read plenty in the national press recently about the intense negotiations between EDF Energy and Government and we hope that all principle issues will be resolved by the time we have the answer on the planning consent so that if it is a ‘yes’ we can get moving to help ensure security of electricity supply for the nation.”
David Hall, Somerset County Council’s deputy leader, added: “I very much hope a positive announcement is made soon, which would mean yet another piece of the jigsaw would be in place prior to EDF’s final investment decision.
“Hinkley Point C is a once in lifetime opportunity for Somerset and an opportunity where we must all work together to achieve the maximum benefits for the county".