ATLANTA — Georgia’s utility-regulating agency voted unanimously Tuesday to let Georgia Power pass on to customers $2.1 billion of the costs of completing the first of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.
That figure, which will boost average residential customer bills by $3.78 a month, was set in an agreement the Atlanta-based utility and the state Public Service Commission’s Public Interest Advocacy Staff reached last month.
Under the agreement, Georgia Power will not be allowed to start recovering the $2.1 billion until one month after the reactor unit goes into commercial operation. The latest delay in the project Georgia Power announced late last month means that first reactor won’t be ready until the third quarter of next year.
The PSC voted in August to stop approving incremental cost increases incurred at the long-delayed, over-budget nuclear expansion at the plant south of Augusta. Instead, the commission postponed deciding how much of the cost overruns Georgia Power customers will ultimately have to bear until after Unit 3, the first of the two new reactors, is completed.
The Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion, originally projected to cost about $14 billion when the PSC approved the project a dozen years ago, has soared to at least $26 billion.