Tag Archives: public testimony

GEORGIA: Sinking into the Vogtle Vortex

The expansion of a Georgia nuclear power plant that fired up dreams for a carbon-free nuclear renaissance in the U.S. has turned into a quagmire of setbacks, financial woes, uncertainty and frustration.
Protest_smby Pam Wright
5/23/17: Cornelia Stumpf has had enough.

The Savannah resident joins more than 2 million other Georgia Power customers who collectively pay a reported $23 million a month for the construction of two new and highly controversial nuclear reactors that may never produce a single kilowatt of energy.

The new reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, 30 minutes south of Augusta, were the first approved in the U.S. in 30 years, and they were expected to revive the nation’s nuclear power industry, ushering in an era of carbon-free energy to help control climate change. But the expansion at Plant Vogtle has become an expensive boondoggle for the company and its customers.

“What is upsetting to me is, in the end, I’m just one person and it’s added up to $700 in the six years since they began charging it,” says Stumpf, a conscientious consumer of energy who is speaking from her office on a 90-degree afternoon in May with the air conditioner off.

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, implemented the 7 percent surcharge in 2011 after lawmakers gave the utility permission to charge customers for the construction of the project. The charge appears on consumer’s bill as “Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery.” So far Georgia Power has reportedly collected nearly $2 billion from the surcharge.

Read the whole article: The Weather Channel

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Activists Seek Emergency PSC Hearing to Reconsider Vogtle Reactors 3, 4

cwip-protestby Gloria Tatum
(APN) ATLANTA 4/24/17— On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Glenn Carroll, Director of Nuclear Watch South (NWS), filed a request for an emergency public hearing with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to seek relief for ratepayers from the Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) tax on customers’ electric bills.

Georgia Power ratepayers have been paying in advance for the construction of Plant Vogtle nuclear reactor units 3 and 4 since 2009, because of the Georgia Legislature’s approval of CWIP via Senate Bill 31, which subverts the traditional ratemaking process and undermines the notion of Georgia Power shareholders taking any risk.

Read the whole story: Atlanta Progressive News

 

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Georgians, get ready for a power bill sticker shock

vogtle73015by Tom Crawford
Gainesville, GA 12/16/15 — In the 1970s, Georgia Power started work on two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. It was initially estimated that the two units would cost $660 million and take about seven years to build. In fact, the project took nine more years and cost more than $8 billion by the time the reactors actually started generating electricity.

The lesson should have been clear: Nuclear power is very expensive and has significant safety issues, as well. Surely, Georgia Power and the Public Service Commission would be extremely leery about ever approving such a project again.

Read the whole article: Gainesville Times

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Consumer, business groups want independent study of SCE&G’s nuclear plant financing method

AR-150819843.jpg&maxw=800&q=90A 2.4-million-pound module that will house components in the first of two new nuclear reactors is moved into place at the V.C. Summer plant north of Columbia. The utility’s financing method is drawing criticism.

by David Wren
Charleston, SC 8/11/15 —  State regulators should review the pay-as-you-go method being used to build a nuclear power plant near Jenkinsville to see if it really is saving money or simply letting South Carolina Electric & Gas pass costs it should absorb on to its customers, the head of the S.C. Small Business Chamber said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the utility, however, said the state already reviews the project’s finances and proposed utility rate increases, all of which are available for public review.

Frank Knapp Jr., the chamber’s CEO, said he’s not convinced the current financing method — under a state law called the Base Load Review Act — is fair to consumers, including the business owners his group represents.

Read the whole article: Charleston Post & Courier

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Regulators order end to Kemper rate increase, plan refunds

19gibo.AuSt.77JACKSON, Miss. 7/7/1 –  Regulators on Tuesday ordered Mississippi Power Co. to lower rates later this month and plan for customer refunds by November.

In issuing the order, the Mississippi Public Service Commission voted 3-0 to comply with a state Supreme Court order that found illegal a 2013 rate increase for the $6.2 billion plant.

Read the whole article: The Sun Herald

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More Construction Delays Put Focus on Vogtle Project’s Economics

ENRSE_VogtleDelays

by Scott Judy
ENR 6/24/15 — As continuing construction delays cause financing and related costs to mount, time is starting to put “significant” strain upon the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project’s economics, according to recent testimony presented to the Georgia Public Service Commission by Georgia Power, state monitors and others. As a result, considerable discussion at the recent June hearings focused on whether completing the nuclear project still makes economic sense.

Read the whole article: ENRSoutheast

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Activists Ask Regulators To Reconsider Nuclear Power Units

votglepowerplant_062315

by Molly Samuel
ATLANTA 6/23/15 — Activists are asking Georgia’s energy regulators to reconsider building new nuclear power units at Plant Vogtle. The plant expansion is expected to be complete in 2020 – three years behind schedule.

Georgia Power has to go to the Public Service Commission every six months to get its expenses for construction at Vogtle approved. Right now, the last half of 2014 is under consideration. The PSC holds hearings to find out what’s going on at the plant, then lets Georgia Power pay its contractors.

Outside groups also get to weigh in. On Tuesday, Glenn Carroll, a coordinator for Nuclear Watch South, asked the PSC to consider stopping the process entirely.

“We think the public deserves to know what it would cost to cancel Plant Vogtle and compare that to the $12 billion we have left to spend,” she said.

Read the whole article: WABE 90.1 FM Atlanta’s NPR Station

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King: Pilgrims seek spiritual fire

Joan_Kingby Joan King
GAINESVILLE 12/16/14 — The Public Service Commission meets today for a semiannual review. I’ll be there. I’m anxious to see what the commissioners have to say about cost overruns at Plant Vogtle, Georgia Power’s nuclear facility near Waynesboro.

Last week, The Times published a front-page story warning that the new construction is over budget and behind schedule. No surprises there. Vogtle’s two original reactors took 20 years to complete and were 1,200 percent over budget by the time they went online.

What is different and interesting is the language used in the latest progress report. Two state regulators, William Jacobs, a nuclear engineer, and Steven Roetger, a financial analyst, said Georgia Power’s lack of a proper production schedule, “…runs counter to any prudent project management, nuclear or otherwise.” Remember that word “prudent.” It may be the key to mothballing the project.

Read the whole article: Gainesville Times

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A tale of two states’ electricity rates

persbildeby Brian Hicks
Charleston 3/30/14 — John Bennett decided to skip Charleston’s psychotic winter this year and spend a few months in Florida.

But even in the Sunshine State he got a cold chill from the Lowcountry.

A few weeks ago Bennett’s Florida power bill came in about the same time as his forwarded bill from SCE&G. The comparison couldn’t have shocked him more if he’d had his finger in a light socket.

Even though he had used four times as much power in Florida as in his Charleston home, the bills were just $5 apart.

“I don’t understand how they’ve been allowed to get away with this for so long,” Bennett says.

Read the whole article: Charleson Post & Courier

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AARP Aims To Rally Opposition Against Georgia Power Rate Hike

800px-Vogtle_NPPby Jonathan Shapiro
ATLANTA 12/6/2013 — AARP is aiming to rally opposition against Georgia Power’s latest rate hike request through radio and internet ads.

Radio Ad: “Even after four years of rate hikes, Georgia Power is asking for another increase.”

The ads come despite a tentative deal reached last month between the power company, state regulators, and consumer groups to lower the rate request from $1.46 billion to $873 million.

Read the whole article: WABE 90.1

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