Tag Archives: cost overrun

VDT links Plant Vogtle nuke cost overruns to Kemper Coal

Even the VDT has caught on to cost overruns for Kemper Coal and the new nukes at Plant Vogtle.

VDT posted an AP article 29 July 2013, Miss. deal may figure into Georgia nuclear plant, and Charlotte Observer posted it the day before, including Ray Henry as the author,

In Mississippi, the Southern Co. utility took financial losses when the cost of building a new power plant went over budget. In Georgia, another of the company’s projects is going over budget, but it has not yet taken a financial hit.

Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power promised utility regulators that it would charge its customers only for $2.4 billion in costs for building a coal-fired power plant in Kemper Country. Those customers will also have to pay off another $1 billion in bonds for the project, though the utility cannot make a profit off that borrowed money.

The utility’s deal in Mississippi has become a point of debate as Georgia regulators consider who should pay for the increased cost of building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH’-gohl), southeast of Augusta. Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols said he wants Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power to consider a Mississippi-style deal here, and Georgia regulators are carefully tracking financial developments in Mississippi.

Echols said he was interested in the idea of a project spending cap.

“I’m sure when they made that deal they didn’t think they were going to over the cap, but they did,” Echols said.

Oh, come now, they went 26 times over budget last time. Why would anyone believe Continue reading

Southern Company backed off on cost overrun request

Fitch reaffirmed SO’s and Georgia Power’s (and Mississippi Power’s) ratings today after Southern Company backed off a week ago from risking losing the larger cost overrun request to GA PSC. Beware: SO will be back, when maybe fewer people are looking. Or maybe that tiger team will issue its summer report and the titanic Southern Company ship will finally change course towards distributed solar and wind power.

Jonathan Shapiro wrote for AP 31 July 2013, AP: Georgia Power To Waive Request for Extra Vogtle Costs

[Southern Company] CEO Thomas Fanning told analysts Wednesday that the Atlanta-based company reached a preliminary deal with Georgia officials.

Under the plan, the company would only seek right now to collect the $209 million that it spent building the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle from July to December.

The company would waive Continue reading

GA PSC hearings on Plant Vogtle CWIP monitoring

Will GA PSC yet again approve passing cost overruns for the new nukes at Plant Vogtle on to Georgia Power customers? Hearings started today about that. You can listen, and you can testify, today or in August or September, or in writing.

GA PSC PR 15 July 2013,

Contact: Bil Edge
Phone 404-656-2316
Georgia Public Service Commission

244 Washington St S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: 404-656-4501
Toll free:1- 800-282-5813
Fax: 404-656-2341
For Immediate Release

PSC to Begin Hearings on Georgia Power Company Eighth Semi-Annual Nuclear Construction Project Monitoring

Atlanta, July 15, 2013 – The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) will begin its first set of hearings on July 18, 2013 at 10 a.m. on the Georgia Power Company Eighth Semi-Annual Nuclear Construction Projection Monitoring, Docket 29849. The hearing will take place in Room 110 at the Commission offices at 244 Washington Street, S.W. Atlanta, Georgia 30334.The hearing will continue, if necessary, at 10 a.m. on Friday July 19, 2013. Additional hearings are scheduled for August 13-14, 2013 and September 12, 2013.

The Commission will begin by receiving the testimony of any public witnesses pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 46-2-59(g). Immediately following public witnesses, the Commission will hear applications to intervene and any objections thereto, and any motions concerning the utilities pre-filed testimony and other appropriate motions. Following these preliminary matters, the Commission will conduct hearings on the direct case of Georgia Power.

The schedule in this docket is as follows: Continue reading

Koch astroturf vs. solar jobs for Georgians

More solar for Georgia must be a good thing if AFP is organizing astroturf against it. GA PSC decides Thursday. Like another speaker at GA PSC last month, I don’t think even Bubba McDonald’s proposal to double solar requirements on Georgia Power goes nearly far enough, but at least it’s a start, which is more than Georgia Power will do unless nudged by GA PSC.

Ray Henry wrote for AP yesterday, Critics’ numbers misleading in Georgia solar fight: Georgia panel will vote soon on power plan,

A political group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch wants Georgia’s utility regulators to reject a plan requiring Southern Co. to buy more solar energy, but an Associated Press review finds it has used misleading figures to build its case.

The Georgia chapter of Americans For Prosperity, founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, wants Georgia’s utility regulators to reject a solar energy plan in Georgia. But an Associated Press review ahead of a vote on the issue finds that it has used misleading figures to build its case.

The Georgia chapter of Americans For Prosperity has said in mass e-mails that Continue reading

More cost overruns at Southern Company’s Kemper Coal in Mississippi

Why all these overruns? All sorts of excuses about everything but bad management and it was a bad idea in the first place. Does anybody believe this coal plant will be completed anywhere near on time? Why not stop wasting money on it and invest in solar and wind instead?

Only a few months after the last cost overruns, Jeff Amy wrote for AP 2 July 2013, Miss. Power: More overruns at Kemper power plant: $4.45B price tag latest estimate,

The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. told stockholders on Monday that an ongoing review of costs at the coal-fired plant initially has identified at least another $160 million in cost increases.

Mississippi Power spokeswoman Amoi Geter said Southern Co. shareholders would absorb any cost increases. The parent company was hit with $540 million in charges in April, although the after-tax cost to shareholders was lower. In a January settlement with Mississippi regulators, the company agreed to shield customers from further cost increases.

The overruns could push the cost of the plant, adjoining lignite mine and associated pipelines to $4.45 billion. That’s more than $1.1 billion above original estimates.

It’s only supposed to produce 582 megawatts if ever completed. SO could have already built far more solar and wind power for that $4.45 billion, on time and on budget.

Why is Plant Ratcliffe Kemper IGCC so late and so expensive?

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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:

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Renewable energy much needed in Georgia —John S. Quarterman

My op-ed in the VDT today; I’ve added links, plus some more after the op-ed.

Finally! Kewaunee, Calvert Cliffs, and now Crystal River permanently closing say it’s time for Georgia to stop wasting money on Southern Company’s already over-budget and increasingly-late nukes and get on with solar power and wind off the coast: for jobs, for energy independence, and for clean air and plenty of clean water.

February 2013:
Duke Energy is closing the Crystal River nuclear reactor (Tampa Bay Times, 6 Feb 2013), 160 miles south of us, because nobody wants to pay to fix it: between “$1.5 billion and $3.4 billion, plus what it costs to buy power to replace what Crystal River would have produced while it is being repaired” [Charlotte Business Journal, 11 Jan 2013].
November 2012:
NRC terminated Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs 3 (NRC 1 Nov 2012) after Constellation Energy dropped out because the cost “is too high and creates too much risk for Constellation” [Bloomberg 10 Oct 2010].
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About that flyer

Sent Wednesday. -jsq

Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 19:43:49 -0500

Dear Mr. Pritchard,

Thank you for your message of 1 February.

Yes, the binders of the documents for the closings of the various bonds are the sort of financial instruments I requested in my message of 28 January, and that Chairman Slaughter listed in his letter dated 18 January (that I received 28 January). Monday 11 Feb 2013 after the Work Session will be a good time for me to inspect and copy those binders. I will bring a camera and a photocopier. If that time will not work, please advise me of times that would.

Yes, there are other documents I would like to inspect. Please provide

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I have obtained the binder of the documents —Joe Pritchard

The County Manager has found the legal documents on issuance of the the bonds Chairman Slaughter listed in his letter of 18 January.

Received yesterday (as a *.docx file, and still to the wrong email address, but this time including both residence and postal addresses), County Manager Joe Pritchard followed up on his email of 29 January, in which he had seemed puzzled about the term "financial instruments" (it's a standard term in business and investing) such as I asked for 28 January. I thank Mr. Pritchard once again for responding. (I thanked Chairman Bill Slaughter in person the other day.) The relevant correspondance about the flyer that Mr. Pritchard previously wrote was created by the VDT is still missing. I will ask for that Monday, when I respond to Mr. Pritchard's most courteous offer to inspect the financial instruments.

Here's Mr. Pritchard's letter. -jsq

Joe Pritchard February 1, 2013

John Quarterman
6565 Quarterman Road
3338 Country Club Road #L336
Valdosta, GA 31605

Dear Mr. Quarterman:

To follow up my email of yesterday, I have obtained the binder of the documents executed at the closing of the $15,500,000 CVDA

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Created by the newspaper, not the county —Joe Pritchard

Thanks to County Manager Joe Pritchard for responding to my letter of Monday. He partly (but not completely) answered my question by saying the VDT did it. More on that later.

He included a PDF copy of Bill Slaughter’s letter of January 18th. Perhaps Mr. Pritchard was unaware that letter didn’t reach me until after my letter of Monday, because the county sent it to the wrong address. Mr. Pritchard’s email response was also sent to the wrong address, although fortunately email to that business address does reach me. He also copied the Chairman at his business address instead of at his Lowndes County address. In any case, electronic copy is almost always more useful than paper, so I thank Mr. Pritchard for sending that PDF copy.

Here’s Mr. Pritchard’s letter. -jsq

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