Georgia Power’s expansion of nuclear power at Plant Vogtle is still alive following a unanimous vote by the state’s Public Service Commission.
The decision came despite a letter from the PSC’s public interest advisory staff which said asking Georgia Power customers to pay more for the project wasn’t reasonable and despite a projected continuation of bottom basement prices for natural gas based electricity production. PSC member Tim Echols didn’t buy the natural gas argument.
"If we stop this project and assume that gas prices will stay as low as they are now for 60-80 years, then we will have made a grave, irreversible mistake," said Echols.
As a concession to Georgia Power customers, the PSC cut Georgia Power’s rate of return on their investment in the project. For environmentalists? A 5 megawatt solar installation on the Plant Vogtle campus.
The first of the new reactors is expected to be online by 2021.