2018-03-07 / News

Vogtle 3 & 4 to have lower rate impact for Georgia Power customers

From Staff Reports

Last week, Georgia Power filed its 18th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) Report with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). The report includes a revised, lower projected rate impact for customers and outlines continued progress and productivity improvement at the construction site. The report also reaffirms the target in-service dates of November 2021 (Unit 3) and November 2022 (Unit 4) and that completing the new units remains the best cost option to meeting the future energy needs of Georgia.

According to Ashley West, a Georgia Power spokesperson, the company files a VCM Report every six months to provide an update on construction progress and other information related to the construction of the nation’s only new nuclear units. The most recent filing chronicles the last six months of 2017 and marks the first VCM update since Georgia Power received unanimous approval from the Georgia PSC in December 2017 to move forward with construction of Vogtle Units 3 & 4.

West went on to say that, from the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, “Georgia Power has worked to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. The projected peak rate impact for customers included in [the recent VMC] report has been reduced to 9.8 percent with more than half of this impact already in place on bills. This projected rate impact is well below original projections of approximately 12 percent thanks to new federal tax laws, anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits (PTCs), interest savings from loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the fuel savings of nuclear energy.”

Additionally, she provided a list of the positive developments Georgia Power has seen over the last several months that will not only deliver savings and benefits for customers but reduce the expected cost of the plant:

• Full payment from Toshiba of $3.68 billion in parent guarantee payments to Georgia Power and the other Vogtle co-owners, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. Toshiba made the payments as the parent company of former primary Vogtle contractor Westinghouse. Parent guarantees were put in place to protect Georgia electric customers as part of the original contract for the Vogtle nuclear expansion. The payments will reduce the total cost of the plant for Georgia Power with every dollar received from Toshiba being used to benefit customers.

• Customers will pay $139 million less than previously expected due to the impact of new federal tax laws and the receipt of the full amount of parent guarantee payments from Toshiba. The savings will be delivered beginning in April 2018 through a reduction in the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery tariff on customers’ bills.

• $188 million, a total of $75 each for individual customers, in bill credits as a direct result of the Toshiba parent guarantee payments. The credits were approved by the Georgia PSC as part of its order to continue construction with Vogtle 3 & 4 and will be distributed across three separate Georgia Power bills in 2018.

• Approximately $1 billion in benefits for customers due to the recent extension of federal PTCs. While PTCs do not impact the in-service cost of the units, they provide benefits to customers through a reduction in revenue requirements beginning when the units go into service and for many years beyond.

• $500 million in expected customer savings due to $5 billion in anticipated loan guarantees from the U.S. DOE, including $1.67 billion under a new conditional commitment. Final approval and issuance of the additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other conditions.

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