Two 1358MWe advanced boiling water reactors are planned for the South Texas Project site. The units, to be built by GE and Hitachi would be part of New Jersey-based NRG Energy’s plans to develop some 10,500MWe of new capacity over the next decade with a total investment of $16 billion.

The investment in new nuclear would amount to $5.2 billion and would expectedly bear fruit in 2014-15, when the new units would go online. NRG filed a letter of intent with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build the units on 19 June and an application for a combined operating and construction license for the units is expected in 2007.

Construction of South Texas Project units 3 and 4 is expected to create about 3000 construction jobs per unit during the peak construction period and an additional 500 new operating staff positions per unit. According to company statements, NRG’s development plan for each of the new nuclear units would to create over $9.2 billion of economic activity in Texas and result in 5600 new permanent jobs.

In total, the company anticipates developing almost 8000MWe of new baseload capacity along with 2500MWe of intermediate and peaking capacity. The plans will also reduce the carbon intensity of NRG’s baseload fleet by 20-25%, says the company, which operates in the northeast, west, and central south of the USA. David Crane, NRG’s president and chief executive officer, commented: “Our proposed mix of baseload plants, involving two nuclear units, three gasified coal units, two traditional pulverised coal units with full back-end controls, at least one modern combined cycle plant and at least two wind farms, will substantially reduce the carbon intensity of NRG’s existing baseload fleet.”

Crane added: “NRG is strategically located in domestic markets with high and growing demand for power and an over-reliance on expensive natural gas for their power generation.”

NRG intends to contract at least 70% of its new output through power purchase agreements, bilateral contracts or hedges with financial firms.