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Costs Surge for Building Power Plants

In the below article the New York times reports on the rising cost of power plant construction. According to the article, the cost of building both coal and nuclear power plants has increased drastically over the last two years. The author cites Duke Energy’s proposed Cliffside power plant as an example; apparently the target cost of Duke’s power plant increased by eighty percent from 2005 to 2007.

By Matthew L. Wald
July 10, 2007

General Electric called in reporters yesterday for a briefing on a nuclear plant it is trying to sell in partnership with Hitachi, a plant it said can be built faster than before, operated reliably and have a vanishingly small chance of an accident.

But what will it cost? After some hemming and hawing, company executives gave figures by the standard industry metric, dollars per kilowatt of capacity, but in a huge range: $2,000 to $3,000.

“There’s massive inflation in copper and nickel and stainless steel and concrete,” said John Krenecki, president and chief executive of GE Energy. The uncertainty is not just in nuclear plants, he said; coal plant prices are now similarly unstable. As talk of building new power plants rises sharply, so does the cost. A new fleet of coal-fired power plants and a revival of nuclear construction after three decades are both looking tougher lately.

Read the full article here.





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