In recent months U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, has made it a key point of emphasis to attempt to secure advanced nuclear production tax credits in order to ensure construction of Plant Vogtle’s two new nuclear units.
Last week that legislation was approved by the committee, and if passed into law as expected will not only ensure that the construction of the nation’s only new nuclear project continues, but will also create $1 billion in benefits for Georgia Power customers.
The tax credits are an extension of those granted by The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which allowed for qualifying nuclear units to receive a federal income tax credit of 1.8 cents for each kWh of electrical energy produced and sold once the units come online.
The news is welcome relief for Georgians, many of whom were concerned about mounting costs following the bankruptcy of construction contractor Westinghouse last year – a devastating move which killed a similar project in South Carolina. Approval from Georgia’s Public Service Commission ensured the construction would continue, though, and recently some of the financial burden has been lifted off of Georgia Power customers via payments received by Toshiba, Westinghouse’s parent company, and now the extension of these tax breaks.
Said Paul Bowers, President and CEO of Georgia Power, “We are grateful to Senator Isakson for his leadership on this issue, and to Senator David Perdue and the entire Georgia delegation, for recognizing the importance of new nuclear generation and demonstrating renewed federal support for the Vogtle project. At Georgia Power, we are focused on delivering value to our customers every day and we’re committed to completing these new units, which will provide millions of Georgians with carbon-free energy and help keep electric rates low for 60 to 80 years into the future.”