Southern Company has spent $1.8 billion dollars so far on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. The once-secret number was revealed at a public hearing on the project's cost, estimated at $6 billion. The Public Service Commission is overseeing construction costs at the nation's first new nuclear reactors in three decades.
Nuclear power plant expansions are moving forward in the South while they are stalled or have been scrapped in other parts of the country. The South's politics have a lot to do with that trend. Lawmakers here prefer regulated markets and smooth the way for expensive new reactors.
The state Public Service Commission has approved spending $10 million to help low-income residents pay their heating bills. The money comes from a fund Atlanta Gas Light uses to extend pipelines to where homes and businesses are being built. The PSC asked AGL to curb its 2012 project requests to make the heating assistance available.
State officials are considering a proposal that could open more natural gas refueling stations on Georgia's highways. Atlanta Gas Light has asked the state Public Service Commission to tap into a government fund to help pay for ten to 12 new stations. But they wouldn't be for the general public.
The Public Service Commission got an earful of utility customer anger. The PSC was in Savannah to hear public comments on a proposal that would allow Georgia Power to hike its rates by more than $10 a month for the average customer. Dozens of speakers rose to excoriate the utility during the two hour hearing.