SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Georgia Public Service Commission will not consider increasing certified cost of over budget and delayed Vogtle nuclear reactors in current monitoring docket
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, firstname.lastname@example.org, 865-235-1448
Atlanta, Ga. (April 7, 2015) ///PRESS STATEMENT/// Today the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the procedural and scheduling order (PSO) for the 12th Vogtle Construction Monitoring docket (VCM). Georgia Power has requested approval of $169 million in expenditures for their portion of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project during the reporting period of July to December 2014. The utility’s 12th VCM report accounted for spending $2.96 billion in cumulative construction and capital costs. They also requested that the PSC consider amending the certificate to reflect significant delays in the project and increase the Company’s total construction capital cost estimate upwards, from $4.418 billion to $5.045 billion. Today’s vote held consideration of the schedule and cost changes in abeyance until Unit 3 is commercially operational, currently estimated for mid-2019, more than three years delayed, because of a stipulation reached in the 8th VCM.
Statement on today’s decision from Sara Barczak, high risk energy choices program director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which has intervened in every VCM:
“It’s definitely time for the Georgia Public Service Commissioners and state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers as the Vogtle project’s costs rise and schedules continue to slip. In the 12th VCM report, Georgia Power clearly outlines that their share of the project is now over $1.4 billion above original cost estimates. Financing costs represent the largest share of these cost overruns and continue to mount. Ratepayers have already been charged over $1 billion in pre-collected financing costs – Georgia’s ‘nuclear tax’ – with much more to follow. This situation does not bode well for Georgia Power customers given the anti-consumer state legislation that allows the utility to charge in advance for the project’s massive financing costs. As the project is delayed, cost increases continue.”
Additional information: Find SACE’s press release on the approval of the 11th VCM here, which contains extensive background information. Originally reactor Unit 3 was scheduled to come online April 1, 2016 and Unit 4 on April 1, 2017 for a total project cost of approximately $14.1 billion. The current certified cost for Georgia Power’s share of the project is approximately $6.113 billion. With a 39-month delay, the Company’s current cost estimate has increased to $7.518 billion (Georgia Power’s 12th VCM Report, Table 1.1, p. 11) and that does not include any of the nearly $1 billion in cost overruns currently under litigation. Georgia Power, subsidiary of the Southern Company, is 45.7% owner and is regulated by the PSC (remaining utility partners are Oglethorpe Power (30%), MEAG (22.7%), and City of Dalton (1.6%)).
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.