How much will Plant Vogtle’s new reactors really cost us?

Work on two new reactors at Plant Vogtle is a little less than half-finished. Georgia Power customers now pay about $100 a year in monthly bill surcharges related to the project. The ultimate effect on bills is yet unknown. / jedwards@ajc.com
Work on two new reactors at Plant Vogtle is a little less than half-finished. Georgia Power customers now pay about $100 a year in monthly bill surcharges related to the project. The ultimate effect on bills is yet unknown. / jedwards@ajc.com

Southern Company’s chief executive has said the giant utility’s project to build two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle would be history-making. He may be right, but not in the way he meant.

Years behind schedule, billions over budget, and with a key contractor’s bankruptcy clouding its future, the troubled Vogtle project near Augusta is fast becoming Exhibit A for why no U.S. utility before Atlanta-based Southern had tried building a new reactor in 30-plus years.

Most Georgians who get electric bills could eventually pay for overruns on the project that are likely to grow. Customers of Southern subsidiary Georgia Power already pay a Vogtle-related surcharge that adds about $100 a year to the average residential bill, with the ultimate effect on ratepayers yet to be determined.

Also uncertain at this point is how — or even if — the project will get finished.

To find out more about the Vogtle expansion and what it could mean for you, READ OUR EXCLUSIVE REPORT ON MYAJC.COM.