The US Department of Energy (USDOE) has achieved nearly $3.7bn in additional guarantees of loans to fund the continued construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4. The announcement was made by the US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry during his visit to the Alvin Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia.
As part of the move, the USDOE has issued guarantees of loans to the Vogtle owners, including Georgia Power (nearly $1.7bn), Oglethorpe Power Corporation ($1.6bn) and up to $415m to three subsidiaries of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power).
The Vogtle project is said to be the only active advanced nuclear energy construction project in the country.
Perry said: “The Vogtle project is critically important to supporting the administration’s direction to revitalize and expand the US nuclear industry.
“A strong nuclear industry supports a reliable and resilient grid, and strengthens our energy and national security.
“As I’ve witnessed firsthand today, Vogtle is also an energy infrastructure project with a massive scope employing thousands of workers. This project is rebuilding a highly skilled US nuclear workforce and supply chain for the future.”
In September 2017, DOE offered conditional commitments for the additional $3.7bn in loan guarantees.
The department will now guarantee up to $12bn in loans for the project, including current guarantees of up to $8.3bn in loans to GPC, OPC, and the MEAG Power subsidiaries provided in 2014 and 2015.
The Vogtle project will be the first new nuclear power plant to be licensed and begin construction in the US in more than three decades.
Upon completion, the two new nuclear reactors are expected to annually generate more than 17 million megawatt-hours of electricity.
The energy generated by the nuclear reactors will be sufficient to power more 1.6 million American homes while eliminating nearly 10 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
There are currently nearly 7,500 workers are employed at the site, with more than 9,000 workers expected to be employed at the site during the peak construction period.