Guest columnist says Georgia’s PSC system hurts Vogtle customers

Another year, another Plant Vogtle delay, another plea from Georgia Power to shift costs onto its captive customers.

In March, the company identified in an 8-K filing that additional construction remediation work would push back its timeline by at least a month. In June, the company filed a Common Rate Adjustment Application proposing to increase annual rates to customers by $235 million once Plant Vogtle’s Unit 3 begins operation.

More:Public Service Commission staff testify to mechanical issues, delays at Plant Vogtle

More:With Plant Vogtle nearer to completion, Georgia Power seeks to recoup capital costs

The total price tag for the 2,250-megawatt project has now ballooned to $25 billion, with Georgia Power’s portion of the cost increasing from a $6.1 billion estimate to over $11.1 billion today. For comparison’s sake, Duke Energy built 560 megawatts of combined cycle natural gas capacity at the new Asheville, North Carolina, power plant for less than $820 million, illustrating the high opportunity cost of Georgia Power’s Vogtle adventure. And while Georgians are now all but inured to bad Vogtle news, real harm is being done: The cost to each Georgia Power household has now climbed to more than $850, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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