Tag Archives: Jacksonville Electric Authority

Vogtle’s fate no clearer after tense negotiations

Unknownby Kristi Swartz
9/26/18 The future of the nation’s lone nuclear construction project remained unclear last night as its utility partners continued to negotiate over how to handle its rising costs.

Expenses at Southern Co.’s Plant Vogtle expansion project have jumped $2.3 billion in just one year. Vogtle’s budget is roughly double what it was a decade ago, but the reactors were at a crossroads Monday when one of the business partners said it would walk away unless the construction costs were capped.

That talks among the developers — Southern’s Georgia Power Co., Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and Dalton Utilities Inc. — have been extended until 5 p.m. today is a sign that they are trying to keep the reactors going. That is a far cry from yesterday, when Oglethorpe and its utility partners aired their disagreements — and anger — in lengthy public statements.

Read the whole article: E&E News

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Vogtle passes latest hurdle

5ba55bfeec385.imageby Ross Williams
9/24/18 SANDY SPRINGS — The $27 billion Plant Vogtle, America’s only new nuclear power plant under construction, has survived is latest challenge.

Two of the plant’s owners, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, or MEAG, and Oglethorpe Power, voted to move forward with the plan Monday.

MEAG provides electricity to its 49-member communities, including Marietta and Acworth. Oglethorpe supplies electricity to 39 of Georgia’s 41 electric membership corporations, including Cobb EMC, although Cobb EMC is not participating in the Plant Vogtle expansion. Oglethorpe did not respond to multiple requests asking where, when and whether a vote would take place.

MEAG passed it unanimously around 3 p.m., and Oglethorpe followed at about 8 p.m. with what it called a “conditional vote in support.” The utility said it will support continuing with the project if certain conditions are met, including an agreement to freeze the budget at its current place.

Read the whole article: Marietta Daily Journal

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Activists Push Co-owner, MEAG, to End the Insanity of Vogtle Units 3, 4

MEAG-1by Gloria Tatum
9/22/18 APN – On Thursday, September 20, 2018, activists insisted that the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), a minority co-owner of the pending two new nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle, finally abandon the insanity that is their continued involvement in the project.

Since the previous report by Atlanta Progressive News on the Vogtle co-owners, Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) has now sued MEAG over the exploding financial cost of continuing construction on Plant Vogtle 3 and 4.

JEA wants out of its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which it has with MEAG to buy energy from Vogtle 3 and 4 for the next twenty years.

JEA claims that Vogtle has become too expensive and they can get energy cheaper from other companies in Georgia.

At the MEAG Power Board Meeting, JEA offered MEAG a way out of the Vogtle money vortex and still meet its contractual obligations to the co-owners and PPA partners.

Read the whole article: Atlanta Progressive News

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Vogtle nuke faces new vote as muni lawsuit puts construction at risk

7dec2074a824c355b09bf37e588ca45eby Robert Walton
9/14/18 UTILITY DIVE

Dive Brief:

  • Rising costs for the development of two new nuclear units at the Vogtle plant in Georgia have spawned dueling lawsuits between an owner of the project and a municipal utility that claims it never signed up for the perpetual cost increases — and if it did, it shouldn’t have been allowed to.
  • Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) has asked a Duval County, Fla., circuit court to find a 2008 power purchase agreement (PPA) to be unenforceable, claiming it violates the state’s constitution, laws and public policy, and the city’s elected leadership had not given its blessing to the deal.
  • Development of Units 3 and 4 was initially expected to cost $7.3 billion but over the years that price tag has ballooned to more than $27 billion. According to the Augusta Chronicle, JEA’s obligations over the 20-year life of its agreement could be more than $2 billion.

    Dive Insight:

    JEA is showing signs of buyer’s remorse, but given the nearly 400% cost increase it’s hard to blame the municipal utility.

    JEA is suing one of Vogtle’s owners, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), requesting a declaratory judgment that the PPA they agreed to cannot be enforced. The utility argues the Jacksonville City Council did not approve the deal; JEA’s board overstepped its authority in making the arrangement; and Florida law prohibits the contract.

    Read the whole article: Utility Dive

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Contract dispute threatens $27bn Vogtle nuclear project

Vogtleconstructionby Ed Crooks
9/13/18 NEW YORK — A legal battle has flared up over the only new nuclear power plant under construction in the US, raising questions about the $27bn project’s future.

Companies involved in the plan to build two reactors in Georgia have sued each other over a contract to buy electricity from the plant, as communities argue over who should bear the rising cost of the project. The outcome of the dispute will have implications for the nuclear industry in the US and internationally.

The two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors being built at the Vogtle power plant in Georgia have been hit by delays and cost overruns, but the companies leading the project are still pressing ahead with construction.

However, the city of Jacksonville in Florida and its electric utility JEA, which had agreed to buy power from the plant for 20 years, are attempting to escape from that contract. In a filing at a Florida court on Wednesday, the city argued that the 2008 agreement to buy power from the plant was in breach of state law and therefore unenforceable.

In their filing, Jacksonville and JEA said the contract “purports to saddle JEA and its ratepayers with an unlimited obligation to fund the exorbitant and ever-ballooning cost of constructing units of a nuclear power plant that JEA does not own.”

Read the whole article: Financial Times

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A Crack in Co-owner Support for Vogtle, as Costs Skyrocket

vogtle-1-2-3-4by Gloria Tatum
9/8/18 (APN) ATLANTA — As the cost projections for the nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle continue to skyrocket, co-owner support for Plant Vogtle is on increasingly shaky ground, especially as credit rating agencies are talking downgrades based upon the instability of cost projections around finishing the reactors.

Georgia Power’s announcement last month of an unexpected increase of 2.3 billion dollars more to complete Vogtle 3 and 4 has triggered confusion and the requirement for a vote by each of the co-owners on whether to continue participating in the project by late September 2018.

Georgia Power cannot assure that the price will not continue to go up or that the service date will not continue to be kicked down the road by ongoing delays.

This has spooked both Wall Street and some minority co-owners of Vogtle 3 and 4.

Moody’s Investors Services has already issued a downgrade to Georgia Power’s rating, saying the 2.3 billion dollar increase comes just eight months after the Georgia Public Service Commission signed off on the previous round of increased cost estimates.

Co-owners’ exposure to cost increases has no actual end in sight, and this has consequences for investors.  Additional downgrades for co-owners are expected.

Now, Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) wants out of its agreement with Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) to buy power from Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 for the next twenty years and to share in the construction cost.  MEAG is one of the co-owners of Vogtle 3 and 4, owning 22.7 percent of the project.

In addition, Oglethorpe Power–a thirty percent co-owner–will have to nearly exhaust its 490 million dollar contingency fund, according to a company press release.

Read the whole article: Atlanta Progressive News

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Southern Co.’s Vogtle in Doldrums, Decision Due on Sep 30

2c0f2f2a9e6fdc3b971b95b11db0fbed8/24/18 ZACK’S — The dark cloud of uncertainty hovering over The Southern Company’s SO Vogtle project does not seem to dissolve. Even after the approval of the project by Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) in December 2017, the power plant has again been hit by a fresh controversy, which can even result in the scrapping of the project. Presently, the fate of the Vogtle Projects rests on the minority holders. That is to say, if they are willing to absorb the ballooning costs of the project, only then the project will likely survive.

If the project gets scrapped, it will be a huge blow to the nuclear industry of America. Last year, South Carolina Electric & Gas — subsidiary of SCANA Corporation SCG — terminated the construction of the $18-billion VC Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. Duke Energy Corporation DUK also announced the abandonment of Lee III Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina.

The Controversial Vogtle Project

Georgia Power, subsidiary of Southern Company, is the chief owner of the Vogtle project with 46% interest. The other co-owners include Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities, collectively accounting for 54% stake.

The Vogtle nuclear reactors have been grappling with cost overruns and scheduling delays since the commencement of the construction. Moreover, bankruptcy filing by Westinghouse — the major construction contractor of the two nuclear reactors of the plant — aggravated the costs further and led to more delays. Since then, the future of Vogtle project has been stuck in doldrums. The project is already running four years behind schedule, with a price tag of around $25 billion, almost double of what had been originally estimated.

Recent Roadblock

Earlier this month, Georgia Power revised the construction cost of the project, raising the price of the nuclear reactors by $2.3 billion from the prior expected level. With the revision, the total cost of the project now stands at $27 billion. Also, the investors in the project are required to re-evaluate their decision to proceed with the project by the end of September. In this regard, while Southern Company has already announced its intent to absorb the project’s $1.1 billion share of cost increase, the other three minority owners are yet to declare their decision.

Read the whole article: Zack’s Equity Research

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Will JEA Force The Shutdown Of Plant Vogtle Nuclear Construction?

19055271-15347976981380727by Michael Wald
8/21/18 WAYNESBORO

Summary

  • Georgia Power’s announcement of a $1.1 billion increase in its nuclear construction project understates the full $2.4 billion increase, which will be picked up by all of the construction partners.
  • One of the partners, MEAG Power, is facing a rebellion from JEA, a Florida utility contracted to buy its Plant Vogtle power.
  • If MEAG Power votes “no”, Georgia Power faces expensive choices of either buying out MEAG’s share or canceling the project altogether. SO shareholders will bear the cost of either choice.

If you listened to Southern Company’s (SO) second quarter earnings call, the news about increased costs for Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4 was disheartening but not unexpected. Since that call an unhappy Florida utility might be the straw that brings down the project.

Read the whole article: Seeking Alpha

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