For Immediate Release
August 21, 2018
Contact: Colleen Kiernan, 678-304-9539, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacksonville Electric Authority Tries to Exit “Economically Obsolete” Plant Vogtle Deal while Georgia Public Service Commission Rubber Stamps Vogtle Expenditures
ATLANTA, GA – Today the Georgia Public Service Commission formally approved the 18th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitor report, which includes another $448 million in approved costs.
The Commission’s action comes on the heels of Southern Company’s announcement that the project is another $1.5 billion over the budget, bringing it to a total of $27 billion, nearly twice the original approved budget of $14 billion. This latest increase triggers the need for 90% of the participants to vote to continue with the project.
While Southern Company “pledged” to not pass these increased costs on to customers, over half the ownership of the project belongs to member-owned electric cooperatives (represented by Oglethorpe Power) and public municipal utilities (represented by MEAG). These owners don’t have shareholders who can absorb the cost increases, only ratepayers. Oglethorpe has said that although it eats up almost all of its conservative contingency, it plans to move forward.
Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), which has a contract to purchase a portion of the MEAG share of the power, studied the finances last September and determined the project was uneconomic to move forward. In spite of the billions already spent, it is less expensive for their customers to get the same amount of power elsewhere than it would be to plow another $2.5 billion into this facility.
In a sharply worded letter to MEAG on Friday, JEA laid out the options, including pursuing all legal remedies if MEAG chooses to move forward. A vote is expected by the end of September.
MEAG cities in Metro Atlanta include Acworth, Buford, Cartersville, College Park, Covington, East Point, Fairburn, Griffin, LaGrange, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Monroe, Newnan, Norcross, and Palmetto.