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Southern Company announces leadership moves
New CEO named for Southern Power, Vogtle 3 & 4 organization aligned to achieve upcoming milestones and transition to operations.
Southern Company announced several leadership moves involving several of its subsidiaries, effective March 7. Joseph A. "Buzz" Miller, executive vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power and president of nuclear development for Southern Nuclear, has been elected president and CEO of Southern Power. Miller replaces Oscar C. Harper IV, who will retire after 32 years with the Southern Company system.
"We thank Oscar for his years of service and dedication and his instrumental leadership in developing one of America's largest renewable portfolios with more than 1,800 megawatts of generation in seven states," said Kimberly S. Greene, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Southern Company. "Buzz brings strategic leadership and an ability to influence and execute on complex projects to Southern Power and we welcome him to his new role."
"Since the beginning of the Vogtle project, Buzz has provided exceptional guidance and direction for one of the most important construction projects in the country," said W. Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We remain focused on completing the expansion to the highest standards of safety and quality, with the least possible impact to our customers' rates while ensuring that the units will operate safely and power more than a half million Georgia homes and businesses for 60-plus years."
Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear are further aligning the Vogtle 3 & 4 organization to best achieve upcoming project milestones while creating a streamlined approach for interacting and communicating with key stakeholders.
Mark D. Rauckhorst has been named executive vice president of construction for the Vogtle 3 & 4 project. Since joining the company as vice president of construction in 2011, Rauckhorst has leveraged more than 30 years of experience working for engineering, construction management and utility organizations on large-scale capital construction projects to move the Vogtle project forward. He will remain located at the expansion site near Waynesboro, Georgia, where he will continue to oversee construction compliance and coordinate with the Southern Nuclear operational readiness team to prepare for an effective transition from construction to operations.
"As we enter into a new era of nuclear energy generation, I believe these changes will further position us to deliver the Nuclear Promise and remain the best, most affordable clean energy solution," said Stephen E. Kuczynski, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Nuclear.
More than 60 percent complete based on contractual milestones, progress continues at the Vogtle site every day. Major milestones completed in 2015 include the placement of the 1,140-ton CA01 module for Unit 3, the placement of the 950-ton lower ring for Unit 4 and more than 26,000 total cubic yards of concrete.
The projected overall peak rate impact of the Vogtle nuclear expansion is significantly less than when the project was originally certified due to financing and other benefits of the project that Georgia Power has proactively pursued, and the fuel savings of nuclear. The project's remaining projected customer rate impact is still approximately 2.5 percent, an average of less than 1 percent per year through the expected completion date of 2020. Once the new units come online, they are expected to put downward pressure on rates and deliver long-term savings for Georgia customers.