The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) awarded Southern Co. the Edison Award for leading the nuclear renaissance in the United States.
“This recognition is a tremendous honor for Southern Co., our 26,000 employees and partners in the nuclear industry,” said Thomas A. Fanning, Southern Co. chairman, president and CEO. “Southern Co. is committed to bringing the new Vogtle Units 3 and 4 online to deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers. We expect to deliver to customers potentially up to $2 billion in benefits from the Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees, production tax credits, contract modifications, recovering financing costs during construction and lower than forecasted interest costs.”
Southern Co. was selected by current and former EEI chairmen of EEI to receive the 85th Annual EEI Edison Award for distinguished leadership, innovation and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all.
EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn said Southern Co. is a model for nuclear operators.
“Southern Co. and its Georgia Power operating company worked tirelessly to advance the expansion of the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle, and in doing so, paved a path for other nuclear power operators to follow,” Kuhn said. “It takes a lot of work, ingenuity and innovation to build the first U.S. nuclear energy units to be approved in 33 years, but Southern Co. knew that the benefits of doing so would be immeasurable. The company’s big-picture approach to ensuring the advancement of Plant Vogtle is a prime example of the commitment our industry has to providing reliable service.”
Southern Co. is building the nation’s first two new nuclear units in more than three decades at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Ga. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission in February approved the issuance of the Combined Construction and Operating License for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, the first such license approved for a U.S. nuclear plant. Pre-construction activities began in 2009, and Georgia Power expects Unit 3 to begin operating in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017. The project represents a more than $14 billion investment, creating 4,000-5,000 jobs on-site during peak construction.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Co., is overseeing construction and will operate the 1,100-MW units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units with a certified cost of $6.1 billion.