Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power, with agreement from the other three co-owners (Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power, and Dalton Utilities), has filed its recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission to complete the Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 project. The Vogtle project has been plagued by cost overruns, delays, and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, the project’s original contractor, and caused many to examine whether the project should be completed. Units 3 and 4 were originally expected to be completed at a cost of $14.3B and were scheduled to be online in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Cost overruns and delays have caused the estimated cost of the project to increase to more than $25B and estimated online dates to be pushed out five years.
If the Georgia Public Service Commission approves the recommendations, it will mean the Vogtle project will continue to be the only nuclear construction project currently ongoing in the United States. The other nuclear construction project in the United States, VC Summer, was abandoned in July when state-owned utility Santee Cooper, one of the two South Carolina utilities involved in the project, pulled out due to cost overruns and delays in the wake of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy. The recommendation to complete the project shows Southern Company’s commitment to pursuing zero-emission baseload generation and signals that nuclear is still viewed as a key component of our energy future.
Additional Contributing Author: Frank Nelms
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