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Georgia Power seeks rate hike to pay for Vogtle expansion

Plant Vogtle Units 3 (left) and 4 are shown in a February 2021 photo from Georgia Power.
Plant Vogtle Units 3 (left) and 4 are shown in a February 2021 photo from Georgia Power.(WRDW)
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 1:31 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia Power Co. wants to raise rates by $235 million a year as it seeks to pay for its share of the Plant Vogtle expansion near Waynesboro.

The company says bills for a residential customer would rise about $4 a month.

The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. filed the request Tuesday with the Georgia Public Service Commission.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the request by November. The Public Service Commission staff says Georgia Power should get less than it’s seeking.

Georgia Power projects spending $11.8 billion on its share of two new nuclear reactors — Units 3 and 4 — at Plant Vogtle. The units have been under construction in recent years, while Units 1 and 2 have been operating for decades.

The request comes a few days after independent state monitors and state regulators say the expansion of Plant Vogtle is even further behind than the company recently acknowledged.

The first of the two new nuclear reactors likely won’t be in operation until at least the summer of 2022, and the project’s total costs are likely to rise at least $2 billion more, according to reporting by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The development also comes not long after a milestone at Unit 4.

Georgia Power said plant equipment for the new reactor is now energized, or permanently powered, which is needed to perform all subsequent testing for the unit at the expansion project.

Unit 4 is undergoing testing, with the project team earlier this year starting the integrated flush testing process, which pushes water through the permanent plant system piping that feeds into the reactor vessel and reactor coolant loops.

Also in the news ...

  • Georgia Power on Wednesday announced, in collaboration with Georgia Tech, the opening of the 1.4 MW microgrid project in Tech Square at Spring and Fifth streets in Metro Atlanta. Microgrids are self-contained power systems co-located with the facilities they serve that include generation resources, storage systems and energy management systems. The project is being used to evaluate how a microgrid can effectively integrate into and operate as part of the overall electrical grid. Additionally, it will serve as a lab for professors and students who will use the asset to gather data on controllers, cybersecurity devices and energy economics.

From reports by The Associated Press and WRDW/WAGT