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Local approval of nuclear plant rezone could lead to as many as 100 short-term jobs this coming spring, according to company November 23, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, errata, nuclear industry, nuclear jobs, Payette County, rural nuclear.
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[The first version of this news release erroneously stated the county where people may send supportive testimony for the Payette County nuclear plant; this error has been corrected in the version below]

Local approval of nuclear plant rezone could lead to as many as 100 short-term jobs this coming spring, according to company
Testimony ran 2-to1 in favor of plant at last week’s public hearing

Nov. 23, 2009

For more information:

Don Gillispie, 209-939-9311

http://aehipower.com

http://facebook.com/aehipower

http://twitter.com/aehi

Testimony for a proposed nuclear plant at a hearing last week was 2 to 1 in favor and the company says it may start hiring a few dozen people locally as early as next spring, assuming the county rezones the land.

“Discounting the usual anti-nuclear group speakers from around the state – who have no vested interest in Payette’s land use – the ratio was closer to 3 to 1 in favor,” said Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.

Gillispie said preliminary site assessment will create an immediate need for drillers, surveyors, earth movers, contractors, laborers and other well-paying jobs.

“Our proposed power plant will put thousands of people to work when construction hits full stride, but preliminary site assessment this spring may start employing workers in the short-term,” Gillispie said. “According to economic projections, the project will create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs during the construction phase, which could start as soon as 2013.”

However, a limited amount of work will need to take place this spring for site study. For example, a meteorological tower and some simple outbuildings will need to be constructed and some grading done. Well drillers will be hired to take core samples and surveyors to stake out preliminary locations. Basic electrical service will also be brought to the site, requiring electricians.

All of this work will be in preparation for an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Gillispie hopes to make an initial NRC application in the spring of 2011 (the company must collect a least a year’s worth of meteorological data).

Gillispie said these jobs heavily depend on local approval of the comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning of the land, as these will unlock additional investment. He encouraged people to send resumes and letters of interest to info@aehipower.com and to send supportive testimony to Payette County at lroyston@payettecounty.org pr imachuca@payettecounty.org prior to the Dec. 10 deadline. AEHI also expects to have an informational video up on its Web site www.aehipower.com by Tuesday.

“We have lots of investors, including large institutional investors, who are watching the approval process closely,” Gillispie said. “Naturally, they are seeing if we can at least make it over the first hurdle before they consider loaning money for site prep work.”

AEHI considered building a plant in Owyhee County in 2007 and early 2008, until discovery of a geological fault stopped the project. With no other suitable sites in Owyhee County, the company turned its efforts to Elmore County, where the rezone request has been delayed for over a year with no vote on the application. Nevertheless, the company has spent a total of $10 million in these two counties to date – and most of the money was spent in Idaho, creating the equivalent of approximately 200 jobs.

“The closer companies and contractors are to Payette County, the more employment priority we will give them, and those located in the county will get highest priority of all,” Gillispie said. “We will also be going through a stack of hundreds of resumes we have collected from people at a jobs booth in April, and resumes and letters of interest people have sent us over the years.”

AEHI has filed to amend the Payette County comprehensive plan and rezone some 500 acres of a 5,100 acre parcel; the remaining 4,600 acres will remain ag and serve as a buffer.

At a hearing last week before the county planning and zoning commission, about two dozen Payette County and Idaho residents said the plant is needed to bring safe, secure employment and clean industry to the county. The P and Z commission will discuss the issue on Thursday, Dec. 10 and are expected to make a recommendation to the Payette County Commission on that date.

The county commission will hold another hearing and vote on the rezone, possibly by year’s end. Rezone approval will then allow pre-COLA (Nuclear Regulatory Commission Application) preparations to begin in the first quarter of 2010.

“As current national polls show 75 percent of Americans support new nuclear power plants, communities are openly inviting nuclear developers to consider their location as a potential site,” Gillispie said. “It is certainly refreshing to see this change, but not surprising considering the extensive benefits of these plants. It is apparent our new Idaho county is up to the competitive challenge in processing our application in a timely fashion.”

The nuclear industry is already putting people to work. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “nuclear energy is one of the few bright spots in the US economy – expanding rather than contracting.” An NEI report says the prospect of new plant construction in has already stimulated considerable investment and job creation among companies that supply the nuclear industry:  “Over the last several years, the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development and plans to invest approximately $8 billion in the next several years to be in a position to start construction in 2011-2012.” In the course of this, NEI said, “private investment in new nuclear power plants has created an estimated 14,000-15,000 jobs.” The number of new jobs “will expand dramatically after 2011 when the first wave of these new nuclear projects starts construction.”

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (www.alternateenergyholdings.com)

Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only publicly traded independent nuclear power plant developer willing to build power plants in non-nuclear states. Other projects include, Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. Also, AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate.