The Georgia PSC will require Georgia Power to show revised cost and schedule estimates to finish the costly Vogtle nuclear expansion as well as indicate whether it intends to finish the much-delayed construction project in its next construction monitoring report, which is due on August 31.
The PSC voted 4–1 on the motion put forth by Commission Chairman Stan Wise. The motion also requires Georgia Power to address whether the commission should approve revisions to project costs and schedule.
“This vote today sends a message to the Company, the Company’s partners, ratepayers, and Wall Street that the Commission continues to be supportive of this project provided it can be done economically,” Chairman Wise said in a statement. “This information will help us in deciding the appropriateness of whether this project should go forward or not go forward.”
The PSC also approved $222 million in expenditures on the project spanning from July 2016 through December 2016. That decision is not a ruling on whether those expenditures are “reasonable or prudent,” the PSC said. It only serves to acknowledge that the company has spent the funds on the project, and it closes out the 16th Semi-Annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report in Docket 29849.
Significantly, however, the PSC also adopted an amendment authored by PSC Vice-Chairman Tim Echols that will allow the commission to revise or rescind any future PSC orders if Georgia Power and its construction partners choose to abandon the construction project. That measure comes as a safeguard against an abrupt decision to abandon the project, as occurred at the V.C. Summer project in South Carolina.