ATLANTA, May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today that plant equipment for Vogtle Unit 3 is now energized, or permanently powered, which is needed to perform all subsequent testing for the unit. With plant equipment previously running on temporary construction power, the completion of initial energization represents a significant milestone in the Vogtle expansion as the project moves from construction toward system operations.
"Initial energization is a major first step in transitioning the project from construction toward system operations," said Vogtle 3 & 4 Construction Senior Vice President Glen Chick. "With energization complete, we can continue moving into the actual testing phase for Unit 3."
Significant progress continues at the site, with the project now approximately 77 percent complete. With more than 7,000 workers currently onsite and more than 800 permanent jobs available once the units begin operating, Vogtle 3 & 4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in the state of Georgia.
All first quarter milestones have been achieved including the placement of the Unit 4 pressurizer and the Unit 3 containment vessel top head, signifying that all modules and large components have been placed inside the unit.
Last week, Georgia Power filed an update on the Vogtle 3 & 4 project with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), affirming the expected schedule remains within the regulatory-approved in-service dates of November 2021 for Unit 3 and November 2022 for Unit 4, with no change to the total project capital cost forecast.
From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked with the Georgia PSC to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. In March, Georgia Power closed on $1.67 billion in additional Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees for Vogtle 3 & 4. With a total of more than $5 billion in DOE loan guarantees, Georgia Power expects to be able to provide more than $500 million in present-value benefits to its customers.
The projected peak rate impact to Georgia Power retail customers is 10.4 percent, with approximately 5.5 percent already in rates.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this communication is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected cost and schedule for completion of Plant Vogtle units 3 & 4, expected customer benefits, and expected impact on customer rates. Georgia Power cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation or regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of natural gas and other fuels; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction and operation of facilities, including Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, which includes components based on new technology that only recently began initial operation in the global nuclear industry at this scale and including changes in labor costs, availability, and productivity; challenges with management of contractors, subcontractors, or vendors; adverse weather conditions; shortages, increased costs, or inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor; contractor or supplier delay; non-performance under construction, operating, or other agreements; operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs; engineering or design problems; design and other licensing-based compliance matters, including the timely resolution of Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria and the related approvals by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); challenges with start-up activities, including major equipment failure and system integration; and/or operational performance; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses (including satisfaction of NRC requirements), to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Georgia Public Service Commission approvals and NRC actions; under certain specified circumstances, a decision by holders of more than 10% of the ownership interests of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 not to proceed with construction and the ability of other co-owners to tender a portion of their ownership interests to Georgia Power following certain construction cost increases; in the event Georgia Power becomes obligated to provide funding to Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) with respect to the portion of MEAG's ownership interest in Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 involving Jacksonville Electric Authority, any inability of Georgia Power to receive repayment of such funding; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; changes in The Southern Company's or Georgia Power's credit ratings; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
SOURCE Georgia Power