Idaho nuke planners buy renewable firm

MARYLAND - A company that plans to build Idaho's first commercial nuclear power plant announced it has bought about half the interests in a Maryland-based alternative-energy company.

Alternate Energy Holdings, which plans to build a $3.5 billion nuclear power plant in Owyhee County, said it acquired 49.1 percent of Freedom Energy Solutions with an option to take controlling interest in the company. Freedom Energy Solutions of Westminster, Md., sells solar, wind and geothermal systems to offset the utility costs of its clients, which include businesses and homeowners.

"We believe the East Coast is ready to have energy-neutral buildings that will operate for life without any energy bills," said AEH CEO Don Gillispie in a statement. "This cost-effective change makes sense for any new structures and for many high-energy consumption existing structures.

"We want to be a company that bridges this common-sense green solution to all homeowners, businesses and government facilities."

Freedom Energy Solutions and the Maryland Energy Administration have plans for an 88-acre renewable energy and environmental campus at Windy Ridge Park in Mount Airy, Md., according to the statement. Virginia-based AEH announced in December it would open Idaho's first commercial nuclear power plant in Owyhee County. The company's plans include a 1,500-megawatt nuclear plant, an ethanol production facility and a methane gas production center that will be powered by manure from nearby dairy farms.

The nearest existing nuclear power plant, the Hanford nuclear reservation, is in southeastern Washington. AEH is in the process of securing permits from Owyhee County and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


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