Georgia Power requested the extension on Monday.
“As the commissioners know, we have not finalized a settlement,” Georgia Power’s lawyers said in a letter to the PSC.
Former PSC commissioner Bobby Baker said the delay could be a sign that the PSC’s staff wants Georgia Power to absorb a bigger portion of the cost overruns than the company wants to accept.
“It could be that staff wants a higher number,” he said.
A Georgia Power spokesman said the PSC has been reviewing the project’s costs all along through “open and transparent” construction updates.
“We will not discuss ongoing negotiations, but will tell you that we believe all costs to date have been prudently spent and have been reviewed and approved unanimously by the PSC” at those construction monitoring hearings, said Georgia Power spokesman Jacob Hawkins.
Whatever deal is reached will squarely hit customers in their pocketbooks.
For years, customers have been paying surcharges on their bills — roughly $100 a year on average — to finance the construction of two additional reactors at the Vogtle nuclear complex.
The project is more than three years behind schedule and $3 billion over budget. After the PSC decides how much of Georgia Power’s share of those cost overruns — about $1.7 billion — are “prudent” and reasonable, customers’ bills will eventually go up to cover those additional costs.