Vogtle’s reactors are currently estimated to cost more than $ 27.8 billion in total, not including the $ 3.68 billion that the original contractor Westinghouse paid back to owners after going bankrupt. When approved in 2012, the estimated cost was $ 14 billion, with the first electricity being produced in 2016.
Other owners include most of Georgia’s electric co-ops and municipal utilities. The Jacksonville Electric Authority of Florida and some other municipal and cooperative utilities in Florida and Alabama are also required to purchase nuclear power. The Georgia Public Service Commission controls rates only for Georgia Power.
At a hearing Thursday, several witnesses asked to delay or reduce the proposed rate increase.
“Rate increases are never welcome, but the timing of Vogtle 3 couldn’t be worse,” said Jeffry Pollock, a rate consultant who testified on behalf of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers. He proposed to postpone part of the increase until early 2023.
Georgia Power’s 2.6 million customers have already paid more than $ 3.5 billion for the cost of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 in a deal supposed to lower borrowing costs. But rates are expected to rise further as nuclear reactors are completed. Civil Service Commission staff members earlier estimated that the typical customer will have paid $ 854 in financing costs on his own by the time the Vogtle reactors are completed.