The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced Nov. 14 that it had sold the 1,400-acre Bellefonte property, near Hollywood, Alabama to an organization called Nuclear Development, LLC that hopes to complete construction of a nuclear plant on the land.
The purchase price was $111m, TVA said in a news release. The sale concludes a six-month competitive auction process designed to promote job creation and investment in northeast Alabama.
Nuclear Development, LLC is a family-owned and managed company established in 2012 by Franklin L. Haney. Haney has developed a multi-faceted business with national investments in real estate and property development, Nuclear Development said in its own news release.
The Haney family through various entities has a combined development portfolio of more than $10bn and 15 million square feet of space. The Haney family has holdings in several states and the District of Columbia. The Washington metropolitan area represents the family’s leading marketplace, including a multi-billion dollar investment in the Dulles Greenway Toll Road in suburban Virginia and the Portals Office Complex in Washington, D.C.
Nuclear Development expects to invest up to an additional $13bn to complete construction of the nuclear energy facility, beginning in 2017, the firm said.
“Today marks the first step of an exciting new journey for the people of Alabama and Tennessee,” Haney said. “The Bellefonte Nuclear Station will help transform communities across the region – many of which have been hit hard by the forced closure of coal power plants over the last decade. This project will bring new life to the region by creating thousands of jobs while providing assured access to reliable, affordable, zero-emission energy,” Haney said.
The project is expected to create between 3,000 and 4,000 temporary construction jobs and an estimated 2,000 permanent, high paying jobs once operational.
“Our primary goal in selling the site is to provide the best long-term economic return to the surrounding communities and the people of the Tennessee Valley,” says Jim Chardos, TVA Bellefonte plant manager and a 22-year plant employee. “Each bidder needed to provide an end-use and investment plan to demonstrate that they can do just that – promote economic investment in the area,” Chardos said.
Nuclear Development, LLC proposes to complete the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, TVA said.
TVA set the property’s minimum auction price as $36.4m. Concentric Energy Advisors marketed the property to more than 500 potential buyers with 11 expressing an interest and signing confidentiality agreements for further discussions.
Three bidders completed Letters of Intent which included financial qualifications and a plan on how they intend to use the property.
As part of the deal, TVA requires Nuclear Development, LLC to make a $25m minimum investment in the Bellefonte property during the five-year period following the closing. This minimum investment will promote economic development activities in Jackson County, Alabama.
TVA announced the sale earlier this summer saying it no longer needed the nuclear plant site to meet future baseload power needs.
Nuclear Development, LLC has up to two years to close on the property. Until then, TVA will maintain the site. In the event that the deal does not close within two years, the property would revert to TVA, a TVA spokesperson told GenerationHub.
Once completed, Bellefonte will feature state-of-the-art technology and security systems, including a digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C) system for the reactor, double-barrier safety barriers, and a control room simulator for training operations.
In the mid-1970s, TVA began construction of the two Bellefonte nuclear units, but the project was suspended in 1988. Over the years, TVA has looked at a number of alternative uses for the project.
As recently as 2011, TVA sought to restart work on one of the reactors, but by 2014, the utility was ready to discontinue the project again. Earlier this year, the Board of Directors deemed Bellefonte surplus property and began accepting offers for the site in September.
Public comments on the future of Bellefonte have favored selling the property to an entity that would actually complete the nuclear plant. Some parties have called for TVA to keep the property and use it to develop renewable power sources.
The site includes approximately 1,300 acres on Guntersville Reservoir, two partially constructed Babcock & Wilcox Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactors (55% complete), two high-voltage switchyards and several office and support buildings. It also contains significant nuclear power station equipment, reinforced containment buildings, used fuel storage pools and high capacity cranes for fuel loading, unloading and movement.