The Georgia Power Co. yesterday filed a recommendation with the state Public Service Commission to continue and finish construction of two nuclear units at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. The project’s co-owners all support the recommendation as does Gov. Nathan Deal.

“Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities have made the right decision for our state. These new units will provide clean and affordable energy to Georgians for more than 60 years while creating 6,000 jobs during project construction and 800 well-paying, permanent ones after,” the governor said.

“Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, said that the two units “will be in service for 60 to 80 years and will add another low-cost, carbon-free energy source to our already diverse fuel mix.”

Georgia Power expects Vogtle Unit 3 will reach commercial operation in November 2021 and Unit 4 in November 2022. The total rate impact of the project remains less than the original estimate, after including anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the DOE and the fuel savings of nuclear energy. Once the project is on line, the company says it should still be able to offer retail rates below the national average with the additional long-term benefits from this new source of clean and reliable energy.

“Since the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, we have worked to minimize the impact of this critical project on customers’ monthly bills and, even as we assessed our options of whether or not to continue the project, our focus has been to ensure long-term value,” Bowers said. “Today, the total cost of electricity from Georgia Power is significantly below the national average, and when the project is completed, we expect that the new units will help keep energy bills competitive.”

The five-member Public Service Commission will review the recommendation and make a final decision– a process insiders say could last throughout the rest of this year.

Georgia Power estimates that its cost to complete the project is approximately $4.5 billion, for a total capital cost forecast of approximately $8.8 billion. The PSC has already approved $5.68 billion in capital costs for Georgia Power’s share of the project.

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