Georgia Power’s Vogtle costs remain at $6.11bn for now

Georgia Power’s portion of the construction costs for new Vogtle nuclear Units 3 and 4 will remain steady at roughly $6.11bn, the Georgia Public Service Commission said in an Aug. 21 order approving a recent construction update report from the Southern (NYSE: SO) subsidiary.

“For this reporting period, Georgia Power is not seeking any changes to the schedule or certified budget amount of $6.113 billion,” said Commissioner Tim Echols. ”If and when they do bring changes in future periods, I’ll scrutinize it closely.”

Earlier this year, the Shaw Group (NYSE: SHAW) and other key vendors sought a $400m cost increase for their services, but a Georgia Power spokesperson said there is no update on that request.

The PSC unanimously approved the company’s filed expenditures through the period ending Dec. 31, 2011, and agreed the project continues to be beneficial to Georgia Power ratepayers, according to a PSC statement.

In the Commission’s certification of the construction Project on March 17, 2009, the Company agreed to file semi-annual monitoring reports with the PSC. Vogtle 3 and 4 are the country’s first new nuclear power reactor projects in 30 years.

In this report, the company acknowledges potential cost increases associated with certain design changes made by the consortium during the design control document review process. However, the company continues to state that the project is more favorable for customers than originally anticipated at the time of the certification given the impact of cost savings from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee, production tax credits and the Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) in rate base.

The DOE loan has not actually been finalized yet although the company hopes to accomplish that by the end of the year, said the Georgia Power spokesperson.

Georgia Power is expected to file its next six-month update on Aug. 31.

Another Southern subsidiary, Southern Nuclear, is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-MW AP1000 units for Georgia Power and its co-owners Oglethorpe Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and Dalton Utilities.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.