Georgia Power has announced that it has received a total of $1.8 billion in loans to date from the Federal Financing Bank for the construction of the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion. This is roughly half of the $3.46 billion that the FFB will lend for the project.
Loans from the FFB for Georgia Power's share of the Vogtle project are guaranteed under a 2014 agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy.
"As we reach the halfway point in expected federal loans, the benefits of the Vogtle expansion we anticipate bringing to customers remain overwhelmingly positive," said Buzz Miller, executive vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power. "Georgia Power, and the other co-owners that have worked to complete the loan guarantee process, recognized the value of pursuing federal support for the first new U.S. nuclear units in decades and are bringing real savings for the state's electric customers."
The latest draw of $600 million was secured with an interest rate set at 3.283 percent, fixed until the loan's final maturity on February 20, 2044. In part due to the current capital market environment, savings have exceeded estimates at the time the company secured the loan guarantee. The company now estimates that present-value benefits delivered to customers as a result of the DOE loan guarantee have risen to $330 million. With the latest draw, nearly $185 million of these benefits are now locked in for customers.
Benefits for customers under the fulfillment of the DOE loan guarantee are possible because of Georgia's constructive regulatory environment, as well as the company's continued strong performance and credit standing.
The construction of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 continues to be the most economic choice for meeting Georgia's future energy needs. Georgia Power estimates the total peak rate impact of the project on customer rates will be 6 to 8 percent, less than originally estimated due to a variety of factors, including a proactive financing strategy by the company.