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Alliant Energy Purchases 300-MW Wind Farm Project from Apex

LCG, October 5, 2017--Apex Clean Energy (Apex) Friday announced the sale of the Upland Prairie Wind Farm to Interstate Power and Light (IPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation. Construction is scheduled to commence next spring.

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Ameren Missouri Announces Plans to Add 700 MW of Wind Generation by 2020

LCG, September 27, 2017--Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation, announced Monday plans to add a minimum of 700 MW of wind generation by 2020, which represents an investment of approximately $1 billion. The new wind farms are expected to be located in Missouri and neighboring states. The company stated it also plans to add 100 MW of solar generation over the next 10 years, with 50 MW expected to commence operations by 2025.

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Industry News

Georgia Power Files Recommendation to Complete Construction of Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Project

LCG, September 1, 2017--Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power filed a recommendation yesterday with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue construction of the Vogtle nuclear expansion near Augusta, Georgia. The project's co-owners, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities, all support the recommendation, which is based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment.

The total capital cost forecast for 100 percent of the project is now estimated to be approximately $19 billion, and Georgia Power expects Vogtle Unit 3 will reach commercial operation in November 2021 and Unit 4 in November 2022.

Georgia Power expects the PSC to review the recommendation and make a decision regarding the future of the Vogtle 3 & 4 project as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceeding.

The chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power stated, "Completing the Vogtle 3 & 4 expansion will enable us to continue delivering clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy to millions of Georgians, both today and in the future. The two new units at Plant Vogtle will be in service for 60 to 80 years and will add another low-cost, carbon-free energy source to our already diverse fuel mix."

Based on all factors considered, Georgia Power concludes that completing both units represents the most economic choice for customers and preserves the benefits of carbon-free, baseload generation, according to Georgia Power. Assessments of the project included economic analyses; evaluation of various alternatives including abandoning one or both units or converting the units to gas-fired generation; and assumptions related to potential risks including future payments from Toshiba, availability of production tax credits (PTC) and extension of loan guarantees from the Department of Energy (DOE). The latter two benefits were prescribed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Georgia Power forecasts that the total rate impact of the project remains less than the original estimate, after including anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the DOE and the fuel savings of nuclear energy. Once the project is on line, the company should still be able to offer retail rates below the national average with the additional long-term benefits from this new source of clean and reliable energy.

Georgia Power, which owns 45.7 percent of the new units, has invested approximately $4.3 billion in capital costs in the project through June 2017 and estimates that its cost to complete the project is approximately $4.5 billion, for a total Georgia Power capital cost forecast of approximately $8.8 billion. The PSC has already approved $5.68 billion in capital costs for Georgia Power's share of the project. With $1.7 billion in anticipated payments from Toshiba, the company's potential additional capital costs are approximately $1.4 billion.

Georgia Power also announced yesterday that it has contracted with global engineering, construction and project management firm Bechtel to manage daily construction efforts under the direction of Southern Nuclear, the Southern Company subsidiary which operates the existing units at Plant Vogtle.

The new units at Plant Vogtle will be the first in the U.S. to use Westinghouse AP1000 technology, one of the most advanced and safest nuclear designs in the world. Westinghouse will remain on-site to provide engineering, procurement and licensing support, as well as access to intellectual property needed for the project.

The AP1000 plant includes passive safety design features and the use of modular construction techniques. Work is nearing completion on the world's first four AP1000 units at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites in China.

Georgia Power filed the Application for Certification of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 with the PSC in August 2008, and the PSC approved the need and cost effectiveness of the project in March 2009. In April 2009, Vogtle Units 3 and 4 were named the U.S. nuclear industry reference plant for the AP1000. As the reference plant, these units will be the first in America licensed to operate using AP1000 technology. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued the Construction and Operating Licenses (COLs) for the units in February 2012.
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