Sat., August 21, 2010 9:57am (EDT)

Plant Vogtle Expansion Costs Increase
By Alexandria Jud
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
PSC approval of the changes in the construction contract means customers will face a fixed annual increase in rates until 2017 to finance the plant’s expansion.(photo courtesy of US Department of Energy)
PSC approval of the changes in the construction contract means customers will face a fixed annual increase in rates until 2017 to finance the plant’s expansion.(photo courtesy of US Department of Energy)
Georgia Power customers will be paying another $108 million dollars for the construction of two new nuclear units at a plant near Augusta.

The Public Service Commission voted earlier this week to allow Georgia Power to shift the cost of its legal dispute with its Plant Vogtle contractor to its average ratepayers. PSC approval of the changes in the construction contract means customers will face a fixed annual increase in rates until 2017 to finance the plant’s expansion.

Bobby Baker was the only one of the five commissioners to vote against the amendment. He says costs have shown little fluctuation during the past year under the market index and uses a mortgage rate metaphor to explain his objections to the proposal.

“What the Commission did was lock into a fixed rate mortgage, but the fixed rate mortgage was way above the fair market rate that you get could right now. They agreed to pay a premium mortgage rate rather than getting the current market rate that’s available," says Baker.

The reactors are scheduled to go on line in 2016 and 2017.