- Georgia Power has reached a deal with Toshiba to receive all remaining scheduled payments related to the Vogtle nuclear project, a possible boon to the utility's efforts to keep the development alive.
- Toshiba, the parent company of former primary Vogtle contractor Westinghouse, will pay $3.2 billion to the project's owners by Dec. 15. Georgia Power's share of that will be $1.47 billion.
- The news comes just days after staff of the Georgia Public Service Commission determined completion of the Vogtle nuclear plant is "no longer economic," absent changes to the project's finances.
Georgia Power and Toshiba reached an agreement to accelerate payments related to Vogtle, possibly increasing prospects for the project despite a negative economic assessment by staff at the Georgia Public Service Commission. According to Bloomberg, under an earlier agreement, the payments would have been dispersed over several years, through 2020.
"We are pleased to have reached this constructive agreement with Toshiba regarding the parent guarantees for the Vogtle project and every dollar will be used to benefit our customers," Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, said in a statement.
Bowers added that the company is "committed to making the right decisions" and believes "completing both Vogtle units represents the best economic choice for customers and preserves the benefits of carbon-free, baseload generation for Georgia electric customers."
So far, Vogtle co-owners Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities, have received $455 million in total scheduled payments from Toshiba. The project guarantees by the Westinghouse parent were designed to protect Georgia electric customers as part of the original contract.
Georgia Power, which owns about 45% of the plant, has estimated total costs to finish the two reactors will be about $12.2 billion. Georgia PSC staff say a "reasonable" total project cost would be about $8.3 billion for the utility's share.
Vogtle is the only nuclear generator under construction in the U.S. today after the cancellation of the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion in South Carolina. Both projects were plagued by issues with work done by now-bankrupt Westinghouse Electric.