Timeline: Plant Vogtle through the years

1970: Georgia Power’s board of directors votes to build a four-unit nuclear power facility, to be named for Alvin W. Vogtle Jr., then president of parent Southern Co.

1971: Georgia Power announces plans to build two, 1,110-megawatt reactors on the Savannah River in Burke County. The initial cost estimate is $660 million.

1977: Construction resumes, having halted three years earlier because of Georgia Power’s inability to finance construction. At this point, the cost estimate is $2.7 billion.

1989: Reactor 2 goes online, making the plant fully operational. Construction was supposed to take eight years. But it takes 13 years and a total cost of $9.2 billion.

2006: Georgia Power seeks permission from the PSC to bill customers for $51 million in planning and licensing costs for a new Georgia nuclear plant.

2009: Georgia Power gets PSC approval to build two more reactors at Plant Vogtle. State lawmakers allow Georgia Power to collect a surcharge to back the project; it now costs the typical residential customer about $100 a year. Site work begins.

2013: Construction of the reactors begins. The project is to be completed in 2016 at a total cost of $14 billion.

2015: Georgia Power and Vogtle’s construction contractors sue each other over delays that have added more than $3 billion and three years to the completion date. In a settlement, Toshiba’s Westinghouse unit takes a bigger role running the project and Georgia Power pays a $760 million settlement.

December 2016: In a settlement with regulators, Georgia Power agrees to controls on the project’s costs, along with profit penalties if it isn’t completed by the end of 2020.

February 2017: Toshiba reveals a $6 billion loss on its U.S. nuclear projects, including Vogtle, and says it is not seeking any new nuclear business.

March 2017: Westinghouse files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It is expected to seek to exit its nuclear contracts during a court-supervised financial reorganization.

May 2017: Georgia Power and Westinghouse announce a tentative agreement for the utility and Southern Nuclear to take over project management indefinitely from the bankrupt contractor. Georgia Power does not indicate what its long-term plans are — whether it will complete construction under different management, convert the project to another type of power plant, or abandon it.

June 2017: Georgia Public Service commission takes no action on a commissioner’s proposal that they remove a $100 annnual average surcharge on residential customers bills to pay for construction of the two new Vogtle reactors. The surcharge generates about $500 million annually toward construction, which at this point is about $3 billion over cost projections and three years behind schedule.

June 2017: Georgia Power negotiates a Parent Guaranty Settlement Agreement that provides that Toshiba will make payments totaling $3.68 billion beginning with a $300 million payment in October 2017 and ending with a final payment in January 2021·

June 2017: Southern Nuclear takes over as lead project manager.

June 2017: Westinghouse filed a motion to reject the Vogtle Engineering Procurement Contract Agreement.

July 2017: Plug is pulled on the South Carolina nuclear project that is Vogtle’s near twin.

August 2017: Southern Company discloses the cost of expanding Plant Vogtle has swelled to more than $25 billion and work has slipped further behind schedule in the wake of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy. The new costs are close to double original projections at project inception.

October 2017: Georgia Power and its partners in Plant Vogtle receive the first installment of $300 million from Toshiba Corp. as part of the company’s $3.7 billion parent Guanranty on Westinghouse.

October 2017: Bechtel signs agreement taking over from Fluor as primary contractor

December 2017: Analysts appointed by the Georgia Public Service Commission say the Vogtle project should be canceled if the commission fails to adopt their recommendation. Staff conclude Georgia Power failed to manage the project in a “reasonable manner.”

December 2017: Toshiba honors parent guaranty, completes its $3.68 billion payment to Georgia Power and co-owners.

December 2017: PSC speeds up decision on Vogtle. Letter exchanges between Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers and Public Service Commission chair Stan Wise, lead the commission to move up the date on a decision on the fate of Vogtle pending review of how the proposed changes to the tax code would affect the project. The commission had initially set the decision for Feb. 28.

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