Women. Power. Peace.

Georgia WAND defends ratepayers against escalating costs at Vogtle

amanda pscIn their latest progress report about the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, Southern Company said they won’t be able to stay on budget for the project.

On Thursday, July 18, the Company went before the Public Service Commission to ask them to raise the budget for their part of the project by $737 million to $6.85 billion, allowing them to pass those costs onto customers.

Georgia WAND staff and members attended the meeting to urge the PSC to hold Georgia Power accountable for their mistakes, not the public.

The company admits the additional costs and delays are due to poor project oversight and permitting issues.

The PSC had some tough questions for Georgia Power’s construction monitors, noting the project are consistently over budget and behind schedule and asking when this trend will end.

Read on for a summary of the details of the case and see what the media had to say.

Augusta Chronicle - "PSC begins review of Voglte overage"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Georgia Power takes heat for Vogtle costs, delays"

Key Points from the Case

  • The completion dates for  Voglte Units 3 and 4 hav been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2017 and 2018, meaning customers will have to pay the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery tariff (also known as Construction Work in Progress – CWIP)  longer in addition to any extra burden passed to customers from PSC approved increases in the certified cost of Vogtle.
  • Less than 1% of the company’s extra costs are from engineering, procurement and construction. Georgia Power says the additional costs are a result quality assurance and compliance costs as well as their work in overseeing their Contractor. In essence, Georgia Power had to increase oversight because the project has not been going well. The company should be responsible for those costs; it’s not prudent to pass them on to customers.
  • Costs accrued as a result of design changes and license amendment requests are a testament to the fact that Southern Company jumped the gun in seeking license for the project. They weren’t prepared when the process started and costs that reflect that.
  • Southern Company’s projections don’t include the cost of the lawsuit they’re engaged in with their contractor The Shaw Group/Chicago Bridge and Iron or the full cost of not getting Federal Loan Guarantee, for which the negotiation deadline has been extended three times. These factors keep the door open for more cost overruns. The PSC shouldn’t set the precedent now to increase the certified cost of the project every time there’s a bump in the road.
  • By seeking an increase in certified cost, Southern Company is trying to protect themselves against lowered credit ratings and legislation that would limit their ability to make profits on cost overruns, but it’s the PSC’s job to protect customers from paying for Sothern’s bad business.
  • The projections of the monetary benefit to customers are consistently going down, now is not the time to increase the cost burden to customers.

Contact Us

Georgia Women's Action for New Directions

250 Georgia Avenue
Suite 202
Atlanta, GA 30312

404-524-5999 - phone
404-524-7593 - fax

info@georgiawand.org

Georgia WAND is funded by