Vogtle To Get $3.7 Billion In Additional Federal Loan Guarantees

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced today that the entities responsible for the two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle will receive additional loan guarantees. Georgia Power recently announced their intention to complete the project after their prime contractor, Westinghouse Electric, filed for bankruptcy over cost overruns on this and other projects. As others have abandoned their efforts, Vogtle units 3 and 4 are the only nuclear reactors under construction in the United States, after a three decade gap in additions of nuclear power generating capacity.

The full press release is as follows:

Secretary Perry Announces Conditional Commitment to Support Continued Construction of Vogtle Advanced Nuclear Energy Project

SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. —To further support the construction of two advanced nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced today conditional commitments for up to $3.7 billion in loan guarantees to Vogtle owners: $1.67 billion to Georgia Power Company (GPC), $1.6 billion to Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), and $415 million to three subsidiaries of Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power). The Department has already guaranteed $8.3 billion in loans to GPC, OPC, and MEAG Power subsidiaries to support construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4.

“I believe the future of nuclear energy in the United States is bright and look forward to expanding American leadership in innovative nuclear technologies,” said Secretary Perry. “Advanced nuclear energy projects like Vogtle are the kind of important energy infrastructure projects that support a reliable and resilient grid, promote economic growth, and strengthen our energy and national security.”

The Vogtle project is the first new nuclear power plant to be licensed and begin construction in the United States in more than three decades. The two new 1,100 megawatt Westinghouse AP1000® nuclear reactors at Vogtle represent the first U.S. deployment of this innovative technology. Once online, these new nuclear reactors are expected to provide more than 17 million megawatt-hours of clean electricity annually. This is enough reliable electricity to power more than 1.6 million American homes while avoiding nearly 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The two new nuclear reactors at Vogtle will supplement the two existing reactor units at the facility. To date, the project has created approximately 6,000 onsite construction jobs and is expected to create approximately 800 permanent jobs once the units begin operation.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the Department to issue loan guarantees for projects in the U.S. that employ new or significantly improved technologies and avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. If the new Vogtle loan guarantees are approved, they would be the first issued under the $12.5 billion Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Solicitation issued in December 2014.

To learn more about the Vogtle Advanced Nuclear Energy Project and other projects in the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office visit their website HERE.

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Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The General Assembly enacting the Plant Vogtle surcharge demonstrated that lobbyists can buy legislators, or that legislators are dumb as dirt. Few, other than the largest electricity users that aren’t paying the surcharge, will ever come out ahead with respect to the surcharge. The low interest that Georgia Power pays on its Plant Vogtle debt is likely less than ratepayers could earn if they kept their money and invested for themselves, or if ratepayers have credit card debt, the interest rate they’re paying on that debt in which case they’re ahead to pay down that debt. And if the Georgia… Read more »