What tariff payers should know about the Vogtle expansion



A new report from Georgia Conservation Voters gives an overview of Vogtle’s history and suggests protecting fee payers in the future.

If you feel like you’re reading the same story over and over about the expansion of the Vogtle power plant, the only new nuclear power plant under construction in the United States, you are not entirely wrong.

Reactors 3 and 4 in Vogtle on the banks of the Savannah River near Waynesboro are more than five years overdue and $ 14 billion over budget. And that’s just a rough outline.

Crews are working on Block 4 at the Vogtle plant in September. Credit: Georgia Power Co.

For more details and for an attitude that is sympathetic to the consumers who bear these costs, read on Georgia Conservation Voters’32-page report “Installment payer robbery – the real costs of the Vogtle plant.”

It contains schedules, expense data, and a record of key decisions. The report reminds Georgia Power’s private customers that they have been paying Vogtle financing with their monthly bills for 10 years, while industrial customers are exempt. It also shows how Vogtle’s cost overruns actually increase Georgia Power’s bottom line. Footnotes link to news articles and government and nonprofit documents.

“The Vogtle plant is a monumental example of failed leadership, supervision and a lack of foresight,” said Brionté McCorkle, Executive Director of GCV. “What started as an overpriced $ 14 billion project has grown to more than $ 30 billion, not including the future cost of completing the units.”

The report highlights the role of Georgia Public Service Commission, an elected five-person body, to move the project forward. In a go / no-go review of the project in 2017 after construction company Westinghouse went bankrupt, appraisers and PSC staff warned that it would not be cost-effective to continue. But the PSC voted to continue construction.

EU Commissioner Tim Echols was an outspoken supporter of nuclear energy and argued in 2017 that the expansion of Vogtle was necessary for national security. He sent an email The current an answer to Monday’s GCV report.

“COP26 and even the Biden administration continue to emphasize the important role that carbon-free nuclear power plants will play in our future climate,” wrote Echols. “Nobody could have predicted that Westinghouse would go bankrupt and the difficult financial situation we would put the project in. Nevertheless, completing the project is still the right way to go. “

McCorkle isn’t against completing the project, she said, but she does worry about who will be paying to complete it, the residential taxpayers or Georgia Power’s shareholders.

“The responsible thing is to reassess the whole situation and check who is taking the bill and why customers are hooked for this energy,” she said.

Georgia Power, which owns 45.7% of the Vogtle expansion project, “earned over $ 6 billion just from delays on its own project,” the report said.

“They benefit, they make sky-high profits, while individual installment payers struggle to keep the lights on during a pandemic, people lose family members,” said McCorkle. “And the pressure can be felt everywhere. And our commissioners have a responsibility to do something about it. “

That decision comes later, Echols said.

“We will by law conduct a cautious consultation after each unit has achieved 30 days of uninterrupted operation,” said Echols. “At that point, the commissioners will hear evidence of excesses and determine how much responsibility Georgia Power should bear.”

“Ratepayer Robbery – The True Cost of Plant Vogtle” concludes with a list of suggested measures. You are:

  1. The Georgia Public Service Commission should ban Georgia Power from doing it all
    these nuclear construction costs on our bills and the stake increases between
    Customer classes
  2. Voters should hold commissioners accountable by removing them from office and voting for consumer-friendly candidates who commit to transparency.
  3. Georgia state lawmakers should fully fund an independent Consumer Utility Counsel (CUC).
  4. Georgia state lawmakers should set up an independent study committee to document the findings.

Read the entire report below https://www.scribd.com/document/550992905/Ratepayer-Robbery-The-True-Cost-of-Plant-Vogtle


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