From the Atlanta Business Chronicle:
The Georgia Public Service Commission voted Tuesday not to take up the issue of cost overruns associated with the expansion of nuclear Plant Vogtle for at least four years.
The PSC unanimously approved an agreement reached between the agency’s staff and Georgia Power Co. to delay any decision by the commission on increasing the certified cost of the $14 billion-plus project until completion of the first of two new nuclear reactors at the plant south of Augusta, Ga.
In 2009, the PSC certified the cost of Georgia Power’s portion of the Plant Vogtle expansion at $6.11 billion. However, officials with the Atlanta-based utility announced last February that the project had run $737 million over budget, citing higher construction and financing costs.
The commission had been expected to vote next month on whether to certify the revised figure of $6.85 billion, allowing Georgia Power to recover the additional costs from ratepayers.
Now, the issue of cost overruns has been put off until late 2017 at the earliest, when the first new reactor is scheduled for completion. The second reactor is due to be finished a year later.
From the press release:
ATLANTA, September 3, 2013 – The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved by a unanimous vote a stipulated agreement to resolve several issues in Georgia Power Company’s (Company) Eighth Semi-Annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report in Docket 29849. On a motion by Commissioner Doug Everett, the Commission adopted the agreement signed by the Company and the Commission Public Interest Advocacy (PIA) Staff on July 30, 2013.
Under the agreement:
- · The Company will delay its request to increase the certified cost of the Project, and any further requests to increase the certified cost, until the completion of Vogtle Unit Three.
- · The Company will file no later than February 28, 2014 a combined Ninth and Tenth Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) covering the period from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.
- · The Company will file by September 3, 2013 an abbreviated update on the status of the Project and the expenses incurred on the Project from January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013.
The Commission is scheduled to decide other remaining issues in this docket at its October 15, 2013 Administrative Session. The Commission on March 17, 2009 approved the certified cost of $6.114 billion for the Plant Vogtle Construction Project in Docket 27800.
More information on today’s docket can be found on the Commission website, www.psc.state.ga.us, under Docket Number 29849.
In other action, the Commission:
- · Approved by a vote of 3-2 a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposed by Commissioner Doug Everett that would affect telephone service provided under the federal Lifeline program. The proposed rule would require telecommunications companies offering the Lifeline discount to either: 1. Bill the user $5.00 per month; or 2. Provide eligible customers a minimum of 500 minutes of use per month. The NOPR eliminates the previously adopted requirement of photo identification for all Lifeline applicants. All interested parties should file comments by October 3, 23013. The Commission is scheduled to consider adoption of the proposed rule at its October 15, 2013 Administrative Session. For more information, refer to Docket 35537.
Additional information can be found on the Commission web site, www.psc.state.ga.us.