Southern (NYSE:SO) utility Georgia Power invested $160m in connection with the new nuclear construction at Vogtle Units 3 and 4 during the second half of 2015, according to a recent report filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission.
The Georgia PSC has unanimously approved all costs submitted through the Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) process to date, the utility said Feb. 26.
Georgia Power files a monitoring report about the new Vogtle units every six months. During the reporting period of July 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015, roughly 6.1 million work hours were performed safely with no lost time injuries.
During that time, the company received no notices of violation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The 32-page report noted that Westinghouse Electric has become the primary contractor on the Vogtle project effective Dec. 31. Westinghouse took over after agreeing to buy the Stone & Webster nuclear subsidiary from Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI).
Georgia Power is the largest stakeholder in the Vogtle project. The utility’s co-owners include Oglethorpe Power Co,, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton.
The total construction and capital cost of the facility is forecasted to increase $395m since the previous reporting period. “The $395 million represents the Company’s portion of the settlement agreement, change orders for cyber security driven by regulatory changes in law, and resolution of open notices of change including site security integration as outlined in stipulated question 8,” according to Georgia Power.
The report indicates that Georgia Power has received $2.2bn of the $3.46bn in the Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee. It appears that Georgia Power is now facing a total capital forecast of $5.4bn connected with Vogtle.
The project’s remaining projected customer rate impact is still approximately 2.5%, an average of less than 1% per year through the expected completion dates of June 2019 for Unit 3 and June 2020 for Unit 4.
The Vogtle expansion is the largest construction project in Georgia with more than 5,000 workers onsite today and 800 permanent future jobs. When the new units join the existing two units already in operation, Plant Vogtle is expected to generate more electricity than any other U.S. nuclear facility, enough to power more than one million homes and businesses.
Recent progress at the expansion highlighted in today’s report includes:
- The installation of the first shield building panels for Unit 3, placement of 2,400 cubic yards of concrete for the “turbine tabletop” for Unit 3 and the placement of the 950-ton containment vessel lower ring for Unit 4.
- Delivery of major equipment and components to the site from throughout the United States and around the world including two steam generators from South Korea and the Unit 4 Core Makeup Tank from Italy.
- Positive inspection results from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) demonstrating that the units are being completed safely and in compliance with regulations, as well as approval of various License Amendment Requests (LARs) needed to support construction.
- Continued activities to integrate the new units with the existing plant and prepare new employees to bring the units online to serve customers.