Another extension granted in federal loan talks for Vogtle

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Southern (NYSE:SO) have agreed to another 30-day extension in their efforts to finalize a long-sought-after loan guarantee for Vogtle nuclear units 3 and 4 being built in Waynesboro, Ga.

The deadline has been extended again, this time to Jan. 31, a Southern spokesperson said Jan. 2.

“We are encouraged by recent progress in our loan guarantee negotiations as we work with the Department of Energy to address a few remaining points, including the need for intergovernmental agency review and approval,” the spokesperson said in an email to GenerationHub.

A tentative agreement was reached between the company and DOE during the first term of the Obama administration. But the parties have been trying to hash out a final agreement ever since.

Southern subsidiary Georgia Power is the largest stakeholder at 45.7% of Vogtle Units 3 and 4. Georgia Power’s partners in the nuclear project include Oglethorpe Power Corp., Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), and the City of Dalton, Ga.

Oglethorpe is the second largest partner at 30%. “We are almost over the finish line on this,” Oglethorpe Executive Vice President and CFO Betsy Higgins said in a Nov. 21 conference call on Oglethorpe financial results.

Each party is negotiating its own loan guarantee agreement. However, there are certain provisions for which Southern – as an agent for construction – is negotiating with the DOE subject to all the co-owners’ approval.

Vogtle 3 is currently scheduled to enter commercial service in 2017 and Vogtle 4 in 2018.

 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.