Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nuclear Plant Co-Owners Move Forward

PRNewswire -- Co-owners of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant today (July 3, 2008) announced their intent to maintain their proportionate share of ownership in the proposed Units 3 and 4. As co-owners of two existing units at Plant Vogtle, the utilities had the rights to participate in the new Vogtle units but were required to make a final commitment by July 2, 2008.

Earlier this year, Georgia Power, acting for itself and for Plant Vogtle's co-owners (Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia [MEAG Power] and Dalton Utilities), entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract (EPC) with Westinghouse Electric Company LLC and The Shaw Group Inc.'s Power Group, for the development and construction of two AP1000 nuclear units.

Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and Dalton Utilities have informed Georgia Power that they will maintain the following existing ownership shares in the new units: Oglethorpe Power, 30 percent; MEAG Power, 22.7 percent; and Dalton Utilities, 1.6 percent. Georgia Power's proportionate share is 45.7 percent.

"Plant Vogtle's co-owners represent communities throughout Georgia, and we believe these collective decisions reflect the strong support our co-owners share in the proposed units," said Mike Garrett, Georgia Power president and CEO.

"Through our participation in this planned expansion of Plant Vogtle, Oglethorpe Power and our Member EMCs are taking action to help ensure that Georgians have the electricity they need for the future," said Tom Smith, president & CEO of Oglethorpe Power.

"The participants' level of cooperation and diligence as discussions moved forward was exemplary and underscores the value of joint action," states MEAG Power president and CEO, Bob Johnston. "They are to be congratulated for visionary leadership on behalf of the citizens they serve." Based upon contractual commitments made by 41 of the participants for which it provides wholesale electric power, MEAG Power will retain a 22.7 percent ownership interest in two new nuclear units.

"Although Dalton Utilities is the smallest co-owner participating in this project at 1.6 percent, our evaluation of all the factors that impact this project and our experience with Vogtle Units 1 and 2 lead us to conclude that it is an excellent investment in energy supply that will serve our customers well into the future," said Don Cope, Dalton Utilities president and CEO.

Georgia Power submitted its proposal to the Georgia Public Service Commission May 1, 2008 as a self-build option in connection with the company's plan to meet increased electric demand in 2016-2017. The company's self-build nuclear proposal will be reviewed by the Georgia PSC's Independent Evaluator before the company submits a final recommendation to the Georgia PSC on August 1, 2008 for approval. A final certification decision is expected in March 2009.

If certified by the Georgia PSC and licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the two Westinghouse AP1000 units, with a capacity of 1,100 megawatts each, would be constructed at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant site near Waynesboro, Georgia, and would be placed in service in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) , one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

Oglethorpe Power Corporation is a $4.9 billion power supply cooperative serving 38 consumer-owned EMCs in Georgia. These EMCs provide retail electric service to approximately 4.1 million Georgians. Oglethorpe Power is the nation's largest electric cooperative in assets, annual kilowatt-hour sales, and ultimate consumers served.

The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) is a public generation and transmission organization providing power to 49 Georgia communities with annual electric sales of $736 million and 10.8 million megawatt-hours of delivered energy in 2007.

Dalton Utilities has operated as a public utility since 1889 and provides potable water, electrical, natural gas and wastewater treatment services to approximately 65,000 customers in the City of Dalton and portions of Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Catoosa and Floyd counties. In 2003, Dalton Utilities launched OptiLink and now provides broadband, cable TV, telephone and internet services to residential and business customers.

Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear power units for the plant owners. Southern Nuclear also operates the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga. and the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala.

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