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CPS Energy writes off $391.4 Million for nuclear plant that's not being built

CPS Energy explained the lost investment won't cost customers in the future, but it was paid for by customers when the money was spent. (SBG Photo)

SAN ANTONIO - CPS Energy invested close to 400 million dollars in the last decade for 2 nuclear power reactors that there are no plans to build.

The exact amount is 391.4 million dollars and it was written off in 2016.

CPS Energy wanted to build companion units at the existing south Texas power plant which currently provides nuclear power to CPS Energy.

"Once those plants were built we had lots of really low cost power that was available to our customers all the time," said CPS Energy Chief Legal Officer, Carolyn Schellman.

It has provided a good baseload of constant and affordable energy for San Antonio customers, which is why the utility began investing in the design, development and licensing of units 3 and 4 back in 2006.

"We looked at all the different prices of different technologies and we decided that this would be, participating in those 2 units would be good for our customers mainly because STP 1 and 2 had been so good for our customers," Schellman said.

In 2010, CPS Energy made the decision not to proceed with partner NRG Energy.

"The cost estimates kept going up and we believed that we were not going to be able to build it for what we originally estimated it was going to be built for," Schellman said.

The market collapse in 2008 was a factor as was the low cost of gas and other sources of energy.

"We made a good decision to get in and we made a good decision to get out," Schellman said.

CPS Energy explained the lost investment won't cost customers in the future, but it was paid for by customers when the money was spent.

While the nuclear power reactors were never built, Schellman said CPS Energy does have valuable land and water rights to show for the money spent and also a 7.625 interest in the original deal, should NRG decide to proceed with the nuclear expansion in the future.

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