Communities in the vicinity of the planned Hinkley Point nuclear plant will receive some £128 million in benefits, the government has announced.
Local families situated near EDF’s scheduled Somerset plant will be given up to £3.2 million a year in benefits over the next four decades.
Communities entitled to extra funds
Ministers commented that if plans for the proposed £14 billion plant go ahead, communities will be entitled to the extra funds, which will be paid through a combination of government grants and tax payments.
Under the plans, local authorities would enjoy a share of the rates EDF would pay under an existing business rates retention scheme until 2030.
However, if this scheme concludes at the end of the decade, local authorities will receive benefits directly from the government for the remaining 30 years.
Nuclear communities to be treated the same as those near wind farms
According to the government, this pay packet is intended to ensure communities near nuclear plants receive similar benefits to those located near wind farms. Communities living near wind farms are permitted to keep 100 per cent of the business rates they pay.
The benefits come on top of a £94 million community package that EDF has promised to local authorities, in a bid to garner support for the nuclear project.
However, proposals for the plant will only go ahead if EDF and the government are able to come to an agreement on subsidies. However, negotiations surrounding the price EDF will be paid for the electricity generated by the plant have dragged on for months without any outcome.
This announcement came as the government released further details of plans to support investment in new wind farms and other green power plants. It is hoped the schemes will encourage investors to build new wind farms and other green power plants.
The draft ‘Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan’ also provides detail on the support mechanism provided by the government (long-term Contracts for Difference), and the new draft strike prices for investors in renewable energy.