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ALABAMA POWER CO filed this Form 10-Q on 11/01/2017
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the Bechtel Agreement by the Vogtle Owners, Vogtle Owner insolvency, and certain other events. Pursuant to the Loan Guarantee Agreement, Georgia Power is required to obtain the DOE's approval of the Bechtel Agreement prior to obtaining any further advances under the Loan Guarantee Agreement.
In connection with the recommendation to continue with construction of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 (described below), the Vogtle Owners agreed on a term sheet to amend the existing joint ownership agreements to provide for additional Vogtle Owner approval requirements. Under the term sheet, the holders of at least 90% of the ownership interests in Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 must vote to continue construction if certain adverse events occur, including (i) the bankruptcy of Toshiba or a material breach by Toshiba of the Guarantee Settlement Agreement; (ii) termination or rejection in bankruptcy of certain agreements, including the Services Agreement or the Bechtel Agreement; (iii) the Georgia PSC determines that any of Georgia Power's costs relating to the construction of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 will not be recovered in retail rates because such costs are deemed unreasonable or imprudent; or (iv) an increase in the construction budget contained in the seventeenth VCM report by more than $1 billion or extension of the project schedule contained in the seventeenth VCM report by more than one year. In addition, under the term sheet, the required approval of holders of ownership interests in Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 is at least (i) 90% for a change of the primary construction contractor and (ii) 67% for material amendments to the Services Agreement or agreements with the primary construction contractor or Southern Nuclear.
The term sheet also confirms that the Vogtle Owners' sole recourse against Georgia Power or Southern Nuclear for any action or inaction in connection with their performance as agent for the Vogtle Owners is limited to removal of Georgia Power and/or Southern Nuclear as agent, except in cases of willful misconduct.
The ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be determined at this time.
Regulatory Matters
In 2009, the Georgia PSC voted to certify construction of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 with a certified capital cost of $4.418 billion. In addition, in 2009 the Georgia PSC approved inclusion of the Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 related CWIP accounts in rate base, and the State of Georgia enacted the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act, which allows Georgia Power to recover financing costs for nuclear construction projects certified by the Georgia PSC. Financing costs are recovered on all applicable certified costs through annual adjustments to the NCCR tariff by including the related CWIP accounts in rate base during the construction period. As of September 30, 2017, Georgia Power had recovered approximately $1.5 billion of financing costs. Georgia Power expects to file on November 1, 2017 to increase the NCCR tariff by approximately $90 million, effective January 1, 2018, pending Georgia PSC approval.
On December 20, 2016, the Georgia PSC voted to approve a settlement agreement (Vogtle Cost Settlement Agreement) resolving the following prudence matters: (i) none of the $3.3 billion of costs incurred through December 31, 2015 and reflected in the fourteenth VCM report will be disallowed from rate base on the basis of imprudence; (ii) the Contractor Settlement Agreement is reasonable and prudent and none of the amounts paid or to be paid pursuant to the Contractor Settlement Agreement should be disallowed from rate base on the basis of imprudence; (iii) financing costs on verified and approved capital costs will be deemed prudent provided they are incurred prior to December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020 for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, respectively; and (iv) (a) the in-service capital cost forecast will be adjusted to $5.680 billion (Revised Forecast), which includes a contingency of $240 million above Georgia Power's then current forecast of $5.440 billion, (b) capital costs incurred up to the Revised Forecast will be presumed to be reasonable and prudent with the burden of proof on any party challenging such costs, and (c) Georgia Power would have the burden to show that any capital costs above the Revised Forecast are reasonable and prudent. Under the terms of the Vogtle Cost Settlement Agreement, the certified in-service capital cost for purposes of calculating the NCCR tariff will remain at $4.418 billion. Construction capital costs above $4.418 billion will accrue AFUDC through the date each unit is placed in service. The ROE used to calculate the NCCR tariff was reduced from 10.95% (the ROE rate setting point authorized by the Georgia PSC in the 2013 ARP) to 10.00% effective January 1, 2016. For purposes of the AFUDC calculation, the ROE on costs between $4.418 billion and $5.440 billion will also be 10.00% and the ROE on any amounts above $5.440 billion would be Georgia Power's average cost of long-term debt. If the Georgia PSC adjusts Georgia


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