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Utah PSC States IRP Must Consider Nuclear

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Ron Allen stated in a letter to Utah Sen. Curt Bramble: "The existing Integrated Resource Plan process, the 'IRP,' must consider all resource energy development, including nuclear. Regardless of the resource, economic data and expert evidence guide the selection of the most prudent resources." The letter was read on the Senate floor since it represents an established process that removes a reason for the recently proposed SB199 legislation.

Aaron Tilton, CEO of Blue Castle Holdings (BCH), responding to the letter and the withdrawal of SB199, said: "We are happy with that answer, it accomplishes what we were seeking overall, clarification to a clear path forward on the planning process for Utah's regulated utility and its possible future participation." The proposed language in SB199 would have applied the same rate recovery mechanism currently used for renewables to new nuclear. Clearly stakeholders thought that was not necessary, which assumes that the rate recovery mechanisms used for other resources besides renewables are sufficient.

Tilton also stated: "Before this statement from the PSC, it was unclear to us whether new nuclear could be reasonably included in the relatively short implementation process of the IRP. After further review of the current law, the PSC has determined that the process already exists to accommodate the longer nuclear development time frame."

In addition, Mr. Tilton added: "We thank Senator Bramble for his work and dedication to Utah, for continuing to resolve issues making Utah the best place to do business in the country, and for withdrawing the unnecessary legislation."

BCH's request to Sen. Bramble for the legislation stemmed from a common IRP practice, wherein Request for Proposals (RFP's) are issued 2 to 4 years prior to the time a new electricity generation resource is required. The 2 to 4 year time frame would have placed longer term resources outside of the process. As clarified by the PSC, the IRP must consider nuclear generation and its longer permit development schedule. BCH planning of the Blue Castle Project (BCP) is focused on deploying a reasonable, prudent, long-term, reliable and economic base-load resource for the continued growth and economic well-being of Utahns.

Blue Castle Holdings expects that about 50% of the power from the BCP would be used in Utah. The other 50% would be used in the other major Western US markets. Utah has historically been an electricity exporter to these other markets, benefiting the Utah economy and providing jobs.

The Blue Castle Project is expected to add about $2.5 billion annually to Utah's gross state product from electric sales, during 60 years of predicted operating life. About $80 million would be added annually to Utah's wages and salaries. Indirect wages would be considerably larger. Around 4,000 construction jobs would be created at peak construction, with an average of about 2,000 jobs for 7 years. During the 60 year operating life, from 800 to 1,100 direct permanent jobs would be added.

About Blue Castle Holdings

Blue Castle Holdings Inc. (BCH or the Company) is an energy infrastructure development company based in Utah. It is presently developing the leading new nuclear plant project site in the Western U.S. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Willow Creek LLC (WC), the Company is also engaged in the construction, replacement and repair of natural gas, crude oil pipelines and fuel storage facilities for its customers located in Intermountain West.

More information about Blue Castle Holdings can be found at: www.bluecastleproject.com

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