Senate bill would cut Ga. Power profits on Vogtle nukes

[private]Legislation introduced by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) would reduce Georgia Power’s profits on the Plant Vogtle nuclear project but cutting off the utility’s financing fee it collects from ratepayers.

Georgia Power has been collecting a monthly fee from customers since 2011 to pay in advance the financing costs involved in building the multi-billion-dollar project. Ratepayers have paid a combined $2 billion so far, nearly half of which goes to the utility’s profits.

SB 355 would stop these early payments past the dates when Units 3 and 4 were supposed to have been placed in service. Since those dates were 2016 and 2017, the collections would have to stop immediately.

SB 355 would prohibit Georgia Power from collecting the financing fee from public schools while the nuclear units are under construction.

The bill would also require Georgia Power to return all pre-collected financing costs to customers should the Vogtle project be cancelled.

The co-sponsors of SB 355 include Sens. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta), Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), and Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta).

The Vogtle project has been plagued by cost overruns and schedule delays since the start of construction, and the initial projected cost of $14 billion has now ballooned to $25 billion.  The earliest date for completion is now seen as 2022, if then.

The Public Service Commission voted Dec. 21 to allow the Vogtle project to continue, but did not implement any protections for ratepayers from additional cost overruns.

© 2018 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Chuck Hufstetler , Georgia Power , Plant Vogtle