Ga. Regulators Approve Deal To Cover Plant Vogtle Costs

By Stephanie Stokes  – WABE 90.1

The Public Service Commission approved a deal with Georgia Power to pay for its delayed nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

Construction on the two new units is now several years behind schedule. It’s also costing Georgia Power about $2 billion more than originally expected.

The Public Service Commission’s vote signaled Georgia Power’s spending at the plant is “reasonable and prudent,” and much of the costs can be passed onto the company’s customers.

As part of the deal, Georgia Power agreed to take lower profit margins. The company will also face greater losses if the reactors aren’t finished by a 2020 deadline.

The Public Service Commission and Georgia Power separately praised the deal, calling it a good balance of the interests of the company and consumers.

But advocates like Sarah Barczak of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy weren’t satisfied.

“At the end of the day Georgia Power won this fight and customers lost,” said Barczak.

She and other advocates wanted the commission to take a closer look at the construction costs and Georgia Power’s management of the Plant Vogtle project.

Liz Coyle of Georgia Watch was disappointed with the settlement. “There’s more in the agreement that benefits the Company’s shareholders than the Company’s customers,” said Coyle.

So far, its customers have contributed $1.8 billion in their electricity bills to building the two new reactors.

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Source: WABE 90.1