ATLANTA, Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today the latest milestone at the Vogtle nuclear expansion – the placement of additional shield building panels for Unit 3 on Dec. 4. The shield building provides structural support to the containment cooling water supply and protects the containment vessel, which houses the reactor vessel and associated equipment. The shield building is made of steel and concrete in what is known as a steel composite design that is about 150 feet high and about three feet thick. With this week's placement, nearly 80 of the 336 total shield building panels have been placed for Units 3 and 4.
Construction has continued uninterrupted at the Vogtle site following Westinghouse's bankruptcy in March with all Vogtle co-owners (Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities) working together to maintain the project's momentum. Southern Nuclear, the nuclear operating subsidiary which operates the existing units in Georgia, is now the project manager at the site with global construction firm Bechtel managing daily construction efforts.
Click here to view a video of a 28,000-pound shield building panel being lifted into place for Vogtle Unit 3. In addition to new videos posted regularly on the Georgia Power YouTube Channel, follow the progress from the site with new photos added each month in the Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 Online Photo Gallery.
Vogtle Project Review Underway
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 Westinghouse bankruptcy. The Georgia PSC is reviewing the recommendation to move forward and is expected to make a decision regarding the future of the Vogtle 3 and 4 project as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceeding. Read the 17th VCM Report here and recent comments from Georgia Power Chairman, President & CEO Paul Bowers to the Georgia PSC here.
From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. In addition to this week's announcement that the Vogtle co-owners have reached an agreement to receive 100 percent of parent guarantee funds available from Toshiba (approximately $3.2 billion) by Dec. 15, 2017, the company recently announced a conditional commitment of approximately $1.67 billion in additional loan guarantees for the project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Today, after including anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the DOE and the fuel savings of nuclear energy, the projected peak rate impact to Georgia Power retail customers is approximately 10 percent, with 5 percent related to the project already in rates – well below original projections of approximately 12 percent.
Final approval and issuance of the 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.
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 2.5 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 new agreement with Toshiba, expected rate impacts and other future actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4. 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, 2016, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: failure to obtain DOE approval of the new agreement; the impact of any inability or other failure of Toshiba to perform its obligations under its guarantee and the new agreement; the impact of any failure to extend the in-service deadline for federal production tax credits; the impact of any failure to amend the DOE loan guarantee to allow for additional borrowings; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; 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; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development construction and operation of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, 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; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, including Georgia Public Service Commission approvals and Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions; 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, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, and collateral requirements; the impacts of any sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on foreign currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the benefits of DOE loan guarantees; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Georgia Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
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SOURCE Georgia Power