Bellefonte Site, A Fixer-Upper, Goes On Sale Monday

Up for sale on Monday: A fixer-upper nuclear power plant in Alabama that has already cost its owners about $5 billion and more than 40 years of time, but is still $8 billion short of completion, according to a recent estimate.

Bellefonte NPPMedia reports say there is one known bidder for the Tennessee Valley Authority's Bellefonte nuclear power plant that was begun in the 1970s, but remains far from complete. There are two units at the site out of four once planned and they were considered 88 percent and 58 percent completed at the time work was halted. But that was some years ago with no significant progress done at the site since the 1980s. In addition, valuable assets have been pirated from the site for use elsewhere, giving rise to new estimates that consider the two units 55 percent and 35 percent completed, respectively.

The minimum bid for the property in an auction that starts Monday is $36 million. One energy company called Phoenix Energy has already placed a $38 million bid on the 1,600 acre Hollywood, Ala., property that includes office buildings, a helicopter pad, railroad spurs, transmission lines, miles of paved roads and other infrastructure.

The current history of the site is as much about fits and starts and frustration as anything. Once expected to be a source of jobs for 1,000 or more permanent workers, the TVA had, as recently as 2013, made plans to finish one or both of the already begun reactors. By 2015, however, the power company had given up on completion, choosing, instead, to study alternative uses, including a sale.

Tellingly, the empty parking lot on the site has room for 1,000 cars, according to a media report.

According to the AP, Phoenix Energy is an electricity generation company out of Nevada that uses electromagnetic induction energy fields to create steam to turn turbines.

The TVA is expected to announce the results of the sale in October.

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I think Southern Nuclear will pick this up. Southern still thinks nuclear is a viable power source, as construction as Vogtle 3 and 4 shows, and this is an existing site near Southern's load growth areas. But be assured Southern Nuclear will build new plants and will scrap TVA's existing Babcock & Wilcox reactor-based plants. Jack Keeling

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Jack's comment is optimistic, but it was be an amazing accomplishment if Southern were to do as he believes.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I would like to hear Jack's facts behind his statement. I'm a big fan but wanna hear his facts as I'll bet he's onto something.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Pulled into the parking lot the other day as I was driving back to Atlanta from a visit to Browns Ferry . After 40 years in the industry, it was sad to sit in the parking lot and think what might have been .  That area could have used the jobs I am sure.