San Antonio CPS, SAWS lawsuits have tie

Monday, January 11, 2010

By Mike Reddell
Bay City Tribune

Matagorda County is tied to a pair of billion-dollar-plus lawsuits filed by the City of San Antonio.s two utilities . CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System (SAWS).

The SAWS breach of contract lawsuit against the Lower Colorado River Authority for $1.23 billion last year was the first.

The most recent came in December when CPS sued Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA) – a joint venture of NRG and Toshiba – for $32 billion in a contractual battle over new units 3 and 4 at STP.

CPS and NRG both are partners in STP units 1 and 2, as well as units 3 and 4. Toshiba is the manufacturer of the two new reactors.

The San Antonio Business Journal reported the dispute surfaced over the cost estimates for the two new STP reactors and CPS filed its original lawsuit against NINA Dec. 6.

CPS Energy claims the estimate was $4 billion higher than expected, the Journal said.

In its answer to the lawsuit, NINA counters that the CPS litigation is delaying the project and wants the utility to either commit to funding the project or withdraw, the Journal also reported.

When San Antonio city council first reacted to the estimates, its anger was first directed at CPS for not keeping council duly updated.

San Antonio city council was to take up discussions about investing in units 3 and 4 in January. Some San Antonio officials are pushing the city to alternatives other than nuclear.

STP itself is a neutral party in all of this.

The SAWS lawsuit against LCRA came about in 2009 because the river authority determined there wouldn’t be enough water in the lower Colorado River basin in future years to participate in a water-sharing deal with San Antonio and to accommodate residential and economic development in the lower river basin, including Matagorda County.

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