Southern Company’s CEO Tom Fanning emphasized that the plant’s co-owners (Georgia Power – 45.7%, Oglethorpe Power – 30%, MEAG Power – 22.7%, and Dalton city – 1.6%) have not yet made a final decision on its recommendation concerning the Plant Vogtle Expansion Project to the PSC, but would do so ……….. late August.
Preliminary in-service dates for the units are between February 2021 and March 2022 for Vogtle unit 3 and between February 2022 and March 2023 for Vogtle unit 4. Georgia Power estimates the provisional cost to complete the project for its 45.7% share, to be $3.9 – 4.6 billion, with total capital costs for its share of $6.7 – 7.4 billion. This takes into account money already spent on the project and the guarantee obligations from Toshiba. Based on this, the estimated net additional capital costs for Georgia Power would be $1.0 – $1.7 billion.
The company estimates it would cost it a total of $6.3 billion to cancel the project. This based on “to date” expenditures, financing costs and other costs connected with cancellation such as, terminating contracts for construction and other services, and securing the construction site.
Fanning told investors the transition of control had been a smooth one and productivity at the site had improved significantly in the first half of this year. If the project continues, Southern Nuclear plans to appoint a prime construction contractor. He said: “With engineering nearly complete, the primary success factor going forward would be productivity.”
Fanning said there was a “host of differences” between Vogtle and VC Summer, and cautioned against making “apples and oranges” comparisons between the cost estimates for the two projects.
Georgia PSC chairman Stan Wise, said earlier this week, that the Vogtle project may be in a better position to move forward than Summer. “The dissimilarities of these projects should be recognized before making any suppositions on whether construction will continue at Plant Vogtle based on decisions made in South Carolina,” he said.
Georgia Power Company has more than three times as many customers as SCE&G among which to spread the rate impact, Wise said. The overall impact of the Vogtle expansion on Georgia’s rates – less than 5% so far – has been significantly lower than the 18% residential customer impact reported by SCE&G.
Guarantees from Westinghouse parent Toshiba, which reduce the total customer impact, are $3.7 billion for the Vogtle project and $2.2 billion for the Summer project, he noted. “Last, there are four co-owners underwriting the Georgia effort, whereas Santee Cooper was the only co-owner in South Carolina. These factors suggest the Plant Vogtle project may be in a better position to move forward than the project in South Carolina,“ he said.