U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz traveled to Waynesboro, Georgia February 20, to mark the issuance of about $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.
The project represents the first new nuclear power facilities in the U.S. to begin construction and receive NRC license in nearly three decades. In addition, the deployment of two new 1,100 MW Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors is a first-mover for a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors.
The two new 1,100 MW Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant will supplement the two existing reactor units at the facility. According to industry projections, the project will create about 3,500 onsite construction jobs and about 800 permanent jobs once the units begin operation. When the new nuclear reactors come on line, they will provide enough reliable electricity to power nearly 1.5 million American homes.
Project partners include Georgia Power Co. (GPC), Oglethorpe Power Corp. (OPC), the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and the city of Dalton, Georgia (Dalton).
President Barack Obama announced the DOE’s conditional commitments for the project in 2010, saying “To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we need to increase our supply of nuclear power and today’s announcement helps to move us down that path.” At that time, the Energy Department made conditional commitments for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees. The DOE is scheduled to issue loan guarantees to GPC and OPC for a total of about $6.5 billion. The DOE continues to work on the remaining conditional commitment for a $1.8 billion loan guarantee to MEAG.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the DOE to issue loan guarantees for projects that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases and employ new or improved technologies as compared to technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued.