City Votes No For Nuclear Plant Expansion
The proposal was to expand the South Texas Project that is owned by NRG Energy, Inc., San Antonio’s CPS Power and the City of Austin. Austin owns 16 percent of the plant. The nuclear plant is located in Matagorda County.
NRG asked Austin to join the expansion about a year ago. Austin Energy opposed the proposal stating the initial cost to build it would be much higher than the benefit. Initial construction cost was thought to be $6 million. Plus city council was concerned about construction delays, the project going over budget and the lack of project data.
The city hired an outside consultant at the end of last year to take another look at whether joining the expansion effort would benefit the city. The consultant found that the expansion would cost the city $2 billion and was a risky project. Austin Energy’s Roger Duncan told council members today the cost would put the agency in debt and put their bond rating at risk.
At the end of the vote—Council Member Randi Shade and Mayor Will Wynn emphasized the “no” vote was a financial decision not a statement for or against nuclear power.