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article imageGeorgia Power has a new deal with Plant Vogtle contractors

By Karen Graham     Jun 13, 2017 in Technology
Atlanta - Georgia Power reached an agreement with Toshiba that will pay Georgia Power $3.68 billion beginning in October 2017 through January 2021, clearing a path for the troubled Plant Vogtle expansion held up by Westinghouse taking bankruptcy in March.
On March 7, Digital Journal reported that Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, announced they were suspending its plans to build a nuclear power plant in Stewart County, saying it no longer saw any need for another reactor in the next few years.
The announcement led to a great deal of speculation, especially with Toshiba Corporation's financial meltdown and the news that Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co. has stopped building nuclear plants. It wasn't but a few weeks later that Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in New York to restructure itself as a result of costly problems at the power plants it was building in Georgia and South Carolina.
Vogtle nuclear power plant  Waynesboro  Georgia.
Vogtle nuclear power plant, Waynesboro, Georgia.
Georgia Power
However, under the new deal reached on June 6 and announced on Monday, Toshiba will make good on the nearly $3.7 billion in overruns, money that will eventually reduce the impact on ratepayers says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But even with this assurance, the project may still not be viable.
The Georgia Public Service Commission has heard from experts that the expansion at the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant has been suffered badly from the Westinghouse bankruptcy and there is a good possibility that it will add years to the construction efforts and cost billions more in cost overruns.
Pooh-poohing the naysayers, Georgia Power and Southern talked up the deal as a positive bridge to completion of the project. “We are happy to have Toshiba’s cooperation in connection with this agreement which provides a strong foundation for the future of these nuclear power plants,” Tom Fanning, Chief Executive of Southern Company, said in a statement.
In a news release, Southern Company, which is also wrapped up in the ill-fated and over-cost Kemper Power Plant in Mississippi, said the agreement still must be approved by the bankruptcy court and the associated companies’ boards of directors.
This photo shows Unit 1 of the VC Summer Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina. The Reactor Building...
This photo shows Unit 1 of the VC Summer Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina. The Reactor Building, which is the concrete cylindrical structure, Turbine Building, which is the large blue building, and the Switchyard, where the electricity is sent from the Nuclear Plant to the grid.
Even still, looking at the deal in the long-run means it hinges on the project being finished without any additional overruns. And according to the deal struck with Toshiba, Southern and Georgia Power are not allowed to ask for any more money from Toshiba if that happens.
Additionally, Toshiba is still in the process of working out a deal over South Carolina's SCANA’s V.C. Summer plant, which is three years behind schedule and more than a billion dollars over budget. Summer’s interim construction agreement with Westinghouse runs to June 26, reports Utility Dive.
More about Georgia Power, Vogtle nuclear plant, Expansion, westington house, Toshiba
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