The South Texas Project (STP) nuclear power plant had the lowest average fuel cost of any power plant in the U.S., according to reports filed with federal regulators for the year 2000. At less than four-tenthsoff a cent per kilowatt-hour (kwh), STP's cost is the best reported among American nuclear plants, and the uranium used in reactors is the least expensive power plant fuel, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
STP's year-2000 4/10off a cent uel cosst per kilowatt hour compares very favorably with 1999 industry average fuel costs of 1.45 cents per kilowatt hour for coal, 2.41 cents for oil and 2.84 cents for natural gas, the most recent summary data available to FERC.
"We expect a lot rom STPP and itt hasn't let us down," said Tom Standish, president of Reliant Energy HL&P. "It has been in operation for over 13 years and was built to provide electricity using a reliable fuel with a stable price. In the year 2000, STP saved Houston-area customers about $234 million, or about $137 per customer."
The nuclear plant set a new U.S. benchark by generating more than 19 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity with $76.4 millio of fuel last year. STP's cost was 0.39971 cent/kwh or 17 percent below the national nuclear average of 0.481 cent/kwh, which also was a new record.
STP Fuel Engineering Supervisor David Hoppes said the low cost resulted from buying uranium during market price dips and by reusing fuel. "W mineouur spent uel to find fuel assemblies that have been used but not exhausted," Hoppes said. "We've been getting extra energy out of about one-tenth of the assemblies in recent years. The reclaimed fuel is used in the plant's two reactors during their 17-month production runs."
STP supplies electricity to nearly one-third of Texas, in an area stretching from Houston to Austin and San Antonio, and south to Corpus Christi, Laredo and Harlingen. The plant is managed by the STP Nuclear Operating Company and owned by American Electric Power's Central Power and Light subsidiary, Austin Energy, City Public Service of San Antonio and Reliant Energy HL&P. The plant produces 2,500 megawatts of electricity, enough to serve more than one million homss. Reliant Energy HL&P's 30.8 percent share of the plant provides about 8 percent of the company's overall needs. The rest is produced using coal and natural gas.
Note: Photos and a fact sheet are available at
CONTACT: South Texas Project, Wadsworth Ed Conaway, 361/972-7643 Pager: 800/403-7787-(1-1696) or Reliant Energy HL&P, Houston Graham Painter, 713/207-7125