Update: (Feb 19. 2014 4:38 pm) – Here is the press release that DOE posted after Dr. Moniz’s talk at the National Press Club. Sec. Moniz to Georgia, Energy Department Scheduled to Close on Loan Guarantees to Construct New Nuclear Power Plant Reactors
Word is spreading that Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will make several major announcements at his scheduled luncheon speech at the National Press Club today. Among those announcements should be a statement that the DOE has reached final agreements with two out of the three participating utilities that are building Vogtle Nuclear Power Stations Units 3 and 4.
According to Reuters and the AP, energy department sources have indicated that Georgia Power (a unit of the Southern Company) and Oglethorpe have reached an agreement with the DOE on the terms and conditions for $6.5 billion of the $8.3 billion loan guarantee that was conditionally awarded to the Vogtle project on February 16, 2010.
Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), the third utility partner in the deal, has not yet concluded its negotiations with the DOE for its $1.8 billion portion of the guarantee.
The negotiations have lasted four years and required several deadline extensions. The utilities have continued to build the new nuclear reactors while engaging in the discussions. Today’s low interest rates and the strong financial position of the borrowers have ensured that suitable financing is available as it is needed.
However, the companies have always made it clear that they were pursuing all means to lower the cost of financing the plant. The interest rate savings will be passed to the consumer in the form of lower electricity rates.
Company spokesmen have not confirmed the reports from the DOE sources, probably preferring to let the Secretary of Energy have the opportunity to make the announcement official.