Vogtle co-owners settle contractor issues related to in-construction nuclear units

Georgia Power on Jan. 4 announced the completion of the settlement process between the co-owners (Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities) of the Vogtle nuclear expansion and the project’s contractors, Westinghouse and CB&I.

The agreement settles all claims currently in litigation with the contractors, reaffirms the current in-service dates, adds additional contractual protections and positions Westinghouse and its affiliates as the primary contractor over the project.

“This settlement is extremely positive for the Vogtle expansion,” said Buzz Miller, executive vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power. “The project is more than halfway completed based on contractual milestones with all parties focused 100 percent on project execution.”

Including the settlement agreement, the project’s remaining projected customer rate impact will total approximately 2.5%, which is an average of less than 1% per year through completion. Georgia Power’s portion of the settlement cost is approximately $350 million, significantly less than the claims that were in litigation. Georgia Power said it plans to submit the settlement agreement to the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) in the coming weeks.

Construction of the two new Vogtle units, among the first to be built in the United States in more than three decades, is progressing well with current in-service dates of June 2019 for Unit 3 and June 2020 for Unit 4. 

In tandem with the completion of the settlement process, it was also announced Jan. 4 that Westinghouse has contracted with Fluor Corp. to manage the construction workforce at the Vogtle expansion site.

The expansion at Plant Vogtle is part of Georgia Power’s long-term, strategic plan for providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy for Georgians. Once units 3 and 4 join the existing two Vogtle units already in operation, Plant Vogtle is expected to generate more electricity than any other U.S. nuclear facility. Southern Nuclear is overseeing construction and will operate the new units on behalf of Georgia Power, which owns 45.7% of the facility, and co-owners Oglethorpe Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities.  

 Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.