March 11 Britain is close to signing a 35-year
deal with French energy group EDF to build the first of
a new wave of nuclear power plants after reaching an agreement
on subsidies, the Independent newspaper reported on Sunday.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey will grant planning permission for
EDF's power plant in Hinkley Point on March 19, a day before the
budget, the paper reported.
The Independent said that EDF and government negotiators had
reached a compromise on how long a subsidy could be guaranteed
after talks had been revolving around the "strike price", or the
minimum EDF would be paid for any electricity generated.
Citing industry sources, the paper said the strike price
being discussed was about 96 to 97 pounds per megawatt hour,
towards the bottom end of the anticipated 95 to 99.50 pounds
EDF's demand for a 40-year guarantee in exchange for a
relatively low price has been a sticking point for the deal.
There is not expected to be an announcement of a deal before
the budget, but EDF wants to complete talks by the end of the
month, the Independent said.