Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, [email protected], 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 utilityâ€™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 Companyâ€™s total construction capital cost estimate upwards, from $4.418 billion to $5.045 billion. Todayâ€™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 todayâ€™s decision from Sara Barczak, high risk energy choices program director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which has intervened in every VCM:
â€œItâ€™s definitely time for the Georgia Public Service Commissioners and state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers as the Vogtle projectâ€™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 â€“ Georgiaâ€™s â€˜nuclear taxâ€™ â€“ 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 projectâ€™s massive financing costs. As the project is delayed, cost increases continue.â€
Additional information: Find SACEâ€™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 Powerâ€™s share of the project is approximately $6.113 billion. With a 39-month delay, the Companyâ€™s current cost estimate has increased to $7.518 billion (Georgia Powerâ€™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.