Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Monday he expects to finalize an $8.3 billion taxpayer-backed loan for two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, setting up another battle on Capitol Hill over the government’s investments in energy projects.

The Energy Department offered the loan guarantee to Southern Co. in February 2010, but finalization of the deal was conditioned on a number of key regulatory approvals.

Chu signaled Monday that the loan guarantee is nearing final approval, less than a week after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) greenlighted the license for the project.