From 15 to 19 months late: Plant Vogtle nukes

Surprise! The already-billing but not-built new nukes at Plant Vogtle are going to be even later and cost even more. In December they were to be 15 months late; now it’s 19 months late, and the cost overrun expected is $740 million. History is repeating itself from the last time Southern Company and Georgia Power built nukes on the Savannah River. How about we pass HB 267 to stop Georgia Power from charging that cost overrun to customers?

Kristi Swartz wrote for the AJC yesterday, Vogtle nuclear project to take longer, cost more,

Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project will take about 19 months longer to complete than originally expected and cost about $740 million more than originally thought, the company said Thursday.

Joseph A. “Buzz” Miller, Executive Vice President – Nuclear Development Southern Nuclear Operating Company Georgia Power said its share of the estimated $14 billion project will rise to $6.85 billion, up from $6.11 billion, because of increased capital costs and additional financing costs. Customers, who have been paying the financing costs since 2011, now will pay them for a longer period of time.

And the amount Georgia Power customers have to pay for Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) keeps ratchetting up:

Customers started paying Vogtle’s financing costs as part of a controversial nuclear fee approved by state lawmakers. The fee started at $3.88 in 2011, then rose to $4.26 the following year. Now, the fee has increased to $5.11 and will continue to climb each year until the reactors start producing electricity, which is now scheduled for the end of 2017 and 2018. At that point, the financing costs will be replaced by operating and capital, or construction, costs.

Or we could just call off the project and get on with real renewable solar and wind energy. Google already spent $1 billion on solar and wind and got almost as much new power as both new nukes are supposed to produce. Why should Georgia continue wasting time and money on 1980s technology when we have less expensive and faster to install 21st century sun and wind power ready to deploy?