Energy: Company says $3.5 billion will fund proposed energy complex
Idaho Press Tribune
By Lee Vander Boegh
[email protected]

BRUNEAU — Alternate Energy Holdings and Cobblestone Financial Group have reached an agreement that could bring the proposed 1,600-megawatt nuclear-powered Idaho Energy Complex closer to reality and closer to home — Bruneau, to be exact.

According to a Alternate Energy Holdings press release, Cobblestone Financial Group has committed to fund 100 percent of the complex — which is expected to cost about $3.5 billion.

The financial agreement brings Alternate Energy Holdings one step closer to building the nation’s first nuclear power plant in nearly three decades. Alternate Energy Holdings president and CEO Don Gillispie said the financing demonstrates two things. One, a full investment proves the company’s legitimacy. And two, it makes the Idaho Energy Complex the only nuclear power plant on the drawing board that enjoys full financing.

Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with Idaho landowner and businessman James Hilliard for Hilliard’s 4,000 acres near Bruneau. Rather than sell the land, Hilliard opted to invest in the company by way of yielding his property.

Gillispie is still working on local and federal approval, but remains optimistic the plant will move forward. He expects Owyhee County to make a decision in July. He said he has been making presentations and answering questions from locals, and his plans have been well-received. “I think if we ran a poll we’d be at about 78 percent (in favor),” Gillispie said.

Assuming the company gets county approval, the next step is approval from the federal government — a process that could cost up to $100 million and take several years. But if it goes well, the Idaho Energy Complex could be producing 1,600 megawatts of energy and provide an estimated 500 full-time jobs by 2013