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2-stage auction process to be used in sale of unfinished TVA nuke

A two-stage auction process has been announced for anunfinished Tennessee ValleyAuthority nuclear plant and its surrounding property in JacksonCounty, Ala.

Concentric Energy Advisors Inc. said July 18 that the saleof the federal utility's BellefonteNuclear plant will be finished by October. The energy consultingand financial advisory firm was hired by the TVA to manage the plant's auctionprocess.

The initialindicative bidding process will be held on or before Sept. 9, Concentric noted.After a due diligence period, second and final rounds of bidding will be held,closing with the public auction in October. More details on thesite and auction process will be released in the coming weeks, according to thefirm.

The TVA announced Feb. 17 that it was public input on whether to sellthe 1,600-acre site and associated infrastructure after a motion with the NuclearRegulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to withdraw itscombined license application for the previously planned units 3 and 4 at thenuclear plant. Units 1 and 2 have sat uncompleted since the 1980s.

In 2007, the utility filed an application with the NRC for acombined license to build two more reactors at Bellefonte, units 3 and 4. In2011, the TVA board also votedto completeBellefonte unit 1 for roughly $4.9 billion but decided to stop active work onthe reactor in 2013 when the cost estimate jumped to between $7.4 billion and$8.7 billion.

According to the TVA's 2015 integrated resource plan, itcould be two decadesbefore additional large baseload generation is necessary.

In May, the TVA board of directors signed off on the auctionof the Bellefonte site, after formally deemingthe assets to be surplus. The board approved the recommendation by managementto offer the property for auction to the highest bidder "withoutrestrictions on its use." Seven members of the TVA's board voted in favorof the plan and two recused themselves from the vote.

Following the board's decision, Phoenix Energy of Nevada LLCmade the TVA a cashoffer of $38 million for the plant plus 10% of the net profits each year untilthe debt on it is paid off. However, the TVA said it is not able to considerproposals outside of the bid process because of its requirements due to itsstatus as a government agency.