More Federal Loan Guarantees Given for Vogtle Expansion
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry was on hand for the announcement of the closing of approximately $1.67 billion in additional Department of Energy loan guarantees for the Vogtle 3 and 4 units, which Georgia Power has predicted will cost about $25 billion to complete, or nearly twice their original estimated cost.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey were all on hand, along with Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Tom Fanning, Georgia Power Chairman, President and CEO Paul Bowers, and hundreds of workers and special guests at the Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear expansion project this week Waynesboro, Ga., to announce the closing of approximately $1.67 billion in additional Department of Energy loan guarantees for the new Vogtle units, which Georgia Power has predicted will cost about $25 billion to complete, or nearly twice their original estimated cost.
Also present were Georgia Public Service Commissioners Lauren McDonald, Tim Echols, Chuck Eaton, Tricia Pridemore, and Jason Shaw; U.S. Reps. Rick Allen and Buddy Carter; and Vogtle 3 and 4 co-owners Oglethorpe Power President and CEO Mike Smith, MEAG Power President and CEO Jim Fuller, and Dalton Utilities CEO Tom Bundros, according to Georgia Power's March 22 news release.
"The Vogtle project is critically important to supporting the [Trump] administration's direction to revitalize and expand the U.S. nuclear industry," Perry said. "A strong nuclear industry supports a reliable and resilient grid and strengthens our energy and national security. As I've witnessed firsthand today, Vogtle is also an energy infrastructure project with a massive scope employing thousands of workers. This project is rebuilding a highly skilled U.S. nuclear workforce and supply chain for the future."
Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the project. The company had previously secured loan guarantees of $3.46 billion for the construction of the new nuclear power units, the first to be built in the United States in more than 30 years.
"Since the project began, we have committed to minimize the impact these new units will have on customers' bills, and securing these loans plays a key role by reducing our financing costs and passing along those benefits to our customers," Bowers said. "We thank the administration, DOE, Secretary Rick Perry, and members of Congress for their continued support of the Vogtle 3 and 4 project."
Perry also witnessed a milestone for the project: placement of the top of the containment vessel for Unit 3, signifying that all modules and large components have been placed inside the unit. "The progress we are marking today is a direct result of the tremendous support the project has received," said Fanning. "From the very beginning, public and private partners have stood with us as we endeavor to build the first new nuclear development in the U.S. in a generation. Everyone involved in the project remains focused on sustaining our momentum and is poised to execute on the important work to come in the days ahead."
The project is now approximately 75 percent complete, according to the release, which said nearly 600,000 cubic yards of concrete has been poured for the project to date and more than 16,200 yards of piping was installed in 2018 alone.