New filing illustrates importance of Plant Vogtle expansion to reliability, economic growth
ATLANTA, April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today presented a detailed filing to the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) outlining construction activities and current investments for the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion. Underscoring the project's importance to electric reliability and Georgia's continued economic growth, the filing highlights reports from multiple expert sources on topics ranging from construction and project management to legal standards and regulatory compliance. This latest information continues to demonstrate that costs for the Vogtle expansion to date have been prudently invested, that the current cost and schedule forecast for the first new nuclear units in 30 years is reasonable and that a recent settlement agreement with the project's contractor is in the best interest of the state's electric customers.
Now more than 60 percent complete based on contractual milestones, progress continues at the Vogtle expansion every day. It is the state's largest job-producing construction project with more than 5,000 construction workers onsite and 800 permanent jobs once the new units begin operation.
"The Plant Vogtle expansion is the most important infrastructure project currently underway in Georgia and will ensure that our state has clean, safe, affordable and reliable electric energy for decades into the future," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We are committed to managing this important project well and every dollar we have invested has been necessary to complete the new units safely and correctly to best serve our customers."
Georgia Power submitted today's filing in response to a February request for information by the Georgia PSC following the finalization of the recent positive settlement agreement. The agreement resolved current and pending disputes between the co-owners and the contractors building the new units; reaffirmed the current in-service dates of June 2019 (Unit 3) and June 2020 (Unit 4); added additional contractual protections for the co-owners and customers; and increased efficiencies with Westinghouse and its affiliates as the primary contractor for the project.
The review and discussion of this detailed information by the Georgia PSC is one of the final steps necessary to confirm the prudent investment of approximately $3.1 billion by Georgia Power in the Vogtle nuclear expansion. The Georgia PSC has had the opportunity to review investments for the project every six months as part of the rigorous and transparent Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) process, now in its 14th cycle. All costs reviewed through the VCM process have been unanimously approved.
The projected overall peak rate impact of the Vogtle nuclear expansion continues to be significantly less than when the project was originally certified due to lower financing rates, other benefits the company has proactively pursued, and the fuel savings of nuclear. The company projects that, even with the new costs and schedule forecast, the peak rate impact will be approximately 6 to 7 percent – which is nearly half of the original rate impact forecast. Of this, approximately 4.5 percent is already in rates. Once the new units come online, they are expected to put downward pressure on rates and deliver long-term savings for Georgia customers.
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For further information: Media Contact: Georgia Power Media Relations, (404) 506-7676 or (800) 282-1696, www.georgiapower.com