The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) said on Friday it would permit Constellation Energy’s sale of 49.99% of its nuclear business to French group Electricité de France (EDF) for $4.5 billion if Constellation subsidiary Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. agreed to pay $100 rebates to its customers and invested $250 million to control power rate increases.
The deal has already been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the New York Public Service Commission. On Monday, Constellation Energy’s Board of Directors signed off on the series of conditions from regulators. EDF also said in a separate statement that its board has green-lighted the deal.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the French government—which owns 85% of EDF—was pressuring the company to drop the deal. That news follows a statement from EDF’s incoming chairman and chief executive, Henri Proglio, that he had doubts about whether the investment in Constellation was in EDF’s best interests, the newspaper reported.
Constellation had last year agreed to be bought by Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection, but it opted instead for an offer by EDF for a nuclear partnership.
Constellation Energy owns more than 9,000 MW of generating capacity (PDF) in seven U.S. states, 61% of which is nuclear power.
The company also co-owns UniStar Nuclear Energy along with the EDF Group. Currently, UniStar has four nuclear projects under development: Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 in
Maryland; Callaway Unit 2 in Fulton, Mo.; Bell Bend Unit 1 near Berwick, Pa.; and Nine Mile Point Unit 3 near Oswego, N.Y.
EDF is already the world’s largest nuclear plant operator, with 58 reactors. The plan for both companies is to construct a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs in southern Maryland. As part of the deal, EDF will also move its U.S. headquarters to Maryland.
Sources: Constellation Energy, EDF, Maryland PSC, The Wall Street Journal, POWERnews