Georgia Power announced Friday that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a conditional commitment of approximately $1.67 billion in additional loan guarantees for the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Ga.
Georgia Power had previously secured loan guarantees of $3.46 billion for the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4, which have been caught up on the financial drama prompted by the bankruptcy filing of former lead contractor Westinghouse Electric Company, which also designed the new reactors, the first to be built in the United States in more than 30 years.
Georgia Power now has more than $5 billion in anticipated DOE loan guarantees with which it expects to be able to provide more than $500 million in present-value benefits to its customers.
"From the outset, Georgia Power and the project co-owners have worked to minimize the impact of the project on our customers' bills and these additional loan guarantees will help us continue to reduce our financing costs," said Georgia Power Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Bowers. "We thank the DOE for their support and commitment to the Vogtle 3 and 4 project," Bowers said , who noted that the new level of DOE commitment "reflects the wide-ranging governmental support for nuclear energy in America," said Bowers.
Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units, with the project's other Georgia-based co-owners including Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. On August 31, Georgia Power filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue construction of the Vogtle nuclear expansion supported by all of the project's other co-owners. The recommendation was based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment launched following the bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March. The Georgia PSC is expected to review the recommendation and make a decision regarding the future of the Vogtle 3 and 4 project as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceeding.
Final approval and issuance of these additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions, the company said in a statement.
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