ATLANTA, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today in a 5-0 vote approved Georgia Power's spending on Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 for the period including July 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2011.
The construction costs of Vogtle units 3 and 4 are monitored by the PSC via monthly filings and construction monitoring reports that are filed every six months.
The Vogtle nuclear energy facility is incorporating safety and technology enhancements that improve on the already stellar record of the company's operating facilities. At the facility site, significant work has been done on turbine islands, cooling towers and nuclear islands. Over the next several months, progress will continue to be made in the nuclear island, turbine building and module assemblies.
Major components will begin arriving to the site later this year and early 2013, the first of which will be the reactor vessel for Unit 3. The Unit 3 condensers have arrived from South Korea, where they were manufactured. Unit 3 is scheduled to go online in 2016, and Unit 4 will follow in 2017.
The facility provides $2.2 billion more value to customers than the next best available technology, including natural gas generation, according to PSC staff. Georgia Power is in position to provide customers with up to $2 billion in potential benefits in the form of savings related to recovering financing costs during construction, DOE loan guarantee, production tax credits, lower-than-forecast interest rates and lower-than-forecast commodity costs.
The construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 is the largest job-producing project in Georgia, employing approximately 5000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating. Once complete, the new units will produce enough electricity to power 500,000 Georgia homes and businesses.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units, with a certified cost of $6.1 billion.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements regarding the completion of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, receipt and impact of U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees, production tax credits, and recovery of financing costs. Georgia Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that can 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 Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, including Georgia PSC approvals and potential U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of future rate cases and regulations; changes in business conditions; 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, regulatory investigations, proceedings or inquiries; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as influenzas, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effect on Georgia Power Company's business resulting from terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents, including cyber intrusion; the ability of counterparties to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including Georgia Power Company's credit ratings; and the impacts of any potential U.S. credit rating downgrade or other sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the availability or benefits of proposed U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees. Georgia Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.