Georgia Power argues the expanded nuclear plant will save customers billions of dollars over its 60-year life-span through lower fuel costs and other savings.
In Friday’s filing with the state Public Service Commission, Georgia Power said its contractors completed $389 million worth of construction last year. That was less than the $560 million worth of construction the utility had expected to complete.
But Georgia Power said it is making up lost time. The company partly credited “key leadership changes” after one of its contractors was acquired a year ago. Georgia Power said it has “seen overall improvement in the contractor’s transparency, cooperation and communication as well as execution with a focus on quality and schedule.”
Georgia Power and some of its contractors have been mired in lawsuits over $400 million in damages related to cost overruns and delays.
A Georgia Power official said the company it is completing work on the second new reactor more quickly than expected. That is contributing to the downtick in cost estimates, as are savings from financing costs that are forecast to be about $91 million lower than previously projected.
That should allow the nuclear plant builders to catch up, said Buzz Miller, Georgia Power’s executive vice president of nuclear power development.
“It’s still a good deal, and getting better,” he said.
Friday’s filing also showed that since 2009, customers have paid $438 million through surcharges on their monthly bills — typically about $5-7 a month for the typical customer — to help finance the project.
The PSC approved starting the surcharges before work is done after Georgia Power argued they will ultimately save ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the power plant.