SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Advisory: Public Hearing to Discuss Delayed, Over Budget Nuclear Reactors at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle
Georgia Public Service Commissioners to hear from public, experts tomorrow
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448, Jennifer@cleanenergy.org
Atlanta, Ga. (December 15, 2014) ///PRESS ADVISORY/// A public hearing on the 11th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) report (docket 29849) will be held at the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) tomorrow, Tuesday, December 16. Georgia Power’s two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro along the Savannah River are currently 21 months delayed and significantly over-budget. In fact, testimony from the expert witnesses on the behalf of the PSC Public Interest Advocacy (PIA) staff, who will testify at the hearing, cannot even predict when the reactors will be completed or what the final costs may be. As the project is further delayed, the costs will increase – with estimates of $2 million per day.
Over $1 billion has already been collected from Georgia Power customers due to the anti-consumer state legislation passed in 2009, the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act, or Georgia’s “nuclear tax,” which allows Georgia Power to charge customers in advance for financing costs associated with the Vogtle project. In 2014, the average household paid nearly $75 towards the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery rider – with similar amounts expected in 2015.
What: The PSC is holding a public hearing on the 11th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring report. Georgia Power customers are encouraged to attend and comment. SACE staff and attorneys will be present at the hearing tomorrow and available for comment with the media.
When: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 10 am ET
Where: Georgia Public Service Commission, Hearing Room, 244 Washington Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30334-9052. Find directions at http://www.psc.state.ga.us/contactinfo.asp. The hearing will be audiocast, visit http://www.psc.state.ga.us/calendar/.
The public can sign up to speak at the meeting; a sign-up sheet will be available. Written comments are also accepted; a decision will be made by February 19, 2015. Public comments should reference “docket 29849” and may be submitted online via http://www.psc.state.ga.us/content.aspx?c=/commissioners/, by regular mail to the PSC address above or by phone at (800) 282-5813.
Originally, Vogtle reactor Unit 3 was scheduled to come online April 1, 2016 and Unit 4 one year later. Then updated estimates were December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2018 respectively, representing a 21-month delay. But expert witnesses for the PSC are now not able to determine when the reactors will come online as serious construction challenges remain and the project still lacks a finalized integrated project schedule. The current certified cost for Georgia Power’s share of the project is approximately $6.1 billion. Now the Company’s cost estimate has increased to approximately $6.7 billion. Georgia Power is 45.7% owner in the project (remaining utility partners are Oglethorpe Power (30%), MEAG (22.7%), which is still trying to finalize a $1.8 billion taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantee, and City of Dalton (1.6%). This means the original approximately $14.1 billion Vogtle project is now estimated to cost approximately $15.5 billion.
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.