ATLANTA, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Edison Electric Institute today awarded Southern Company the electric utility industry's most prestigious honor, the EEI Edison Award. Southern Company received the award for leading the nuclear renaissance in the United States.
"This recognition is a tremendous honor for Southern Company, our 26,000 employees and partners in the nuclear industry," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Southern Company is committed to bringing the new Vogtle Units 3 and 4 on line to deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers. We expect to deliver to customers potentially up to $2 billion in benefits from the Department of Energy loan guarantees, production tax credits, contract modifications, recovering financing costs during construction and lower than forecasted interest costs."
Southern Company was selected by current and former chairmen of EEI to receive the 85th Annual EEI Edison Award for distinguished leadership, innovation and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all.
"Southern Company, and its Georgia Power operating company, worked tirelessly to advance the expansion of the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle, and in doing so, paved a path for other nuclear power operators to follow," EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn said. "It takes a lot of work, ingenuity and innovation to build the first U.S. nuclear energy units to be approved in 33 years, but Southern Company knew that the benefits of doing so would be immeasurable. The company's big-picture approach to ensuring the advancement of Plant Vogtle is a prime example of the commitment our industry has to providing reliable service."
Southern Company is currently building the nation's first two new nuclear units in more than three decades at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Ga. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission in February 2012 approved the issuance of the Combined Construction and Operating License for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first such license ever approved for a U.S. nuclear plant. Pre-construction activities began in 2009 and Georgia Power expects Unit 3 to begin operating in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017. The project represents a more than $14 billion investment, creating 4,000 to 5,000 jobs on site during peak construction.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is overseeing construction and will operate the 1,100-megawatt 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.
With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices below the national average. Southern Company also is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.