Vogtle pact: Customers may get 80 percent of the nuke’s cost overruns

Georgia Power reached a tentative pact with state utility regulators that will pass on roughly 80 percent of $1.7 billion in cost overruns at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project to customers.

The flip side is that Georgia Power's customers will pay about $325 million less over the next four years for the project if the deal is ultimately approved by the five-member Georgia Public Service Commission.

PSC spokesman Bill Edge said public hearings on the deal will likely be held in December or January. He said Georgia Power agreed to a lower profit margin on the project under the deal.

No estimates were immediately available on how the agreement would affect customer’s bills.

Customers already are paying surcharges of about $100 a year, on average, to finance construction of the two new reactors at Vogtle. Georgia Power, a state-regulated monopoly, owns roughly half of the project to double the size of the nuclear power plant.

Several months ago, the PSC ordered the company and the agency’s staff to negotiate an agreement on how Georgia Power and customers would split up the cost overruns at the nuclear expansion near Augusta, which is $3 billion over budget and three years behind schedule.

One reactor is currently slated to be completed by the end of 2019 and the other by the end of 2020.

Earlier this week, the PSC granted an extension to Oct. 28 of the Wednesday deadline to reach that tentative deal.

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