Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Electric Power

Monitor sees Vogtle nuke missing in-service dates, exceeding cost projections

Commodities | Agriculture | Grains | Energy | Electric Power | LNG | Natural Gas | Oil | Crude Oil | Metals | Coronavirus

Market Movers Americas, June 29-July 3: Rig count rises, but pandemic continues to pressure US commodities

Electric Power

Platts M2MS-Power

Energy | Electric Power | Electric Power Risk

Nodal Trader Conference, 13th Annual

Natural Gas

Regulation 'unrelated' to Slovak-Ukraine maintenance issue: RONI

Monitor sees Vogtle nuke missing in-service dates, exceeding cost projections

Highlights

Cites poor construction productivity and schedule delays

Southern expects to remain on schedule, on budget

New York — A monitor tasked with independently evaluating Southern Co.'s already delayed Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant nuclear expansion project has found that the utility is "highly unlikely" to meet the most recent November 2021 and November 2022 in-service dates for the two new reactors.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Poor construction productivity and schedule delays will also cause Southern to exceed the projected $17.1 billion cost of the project, according to Donald Grace, vice president of engineering for the Vogtle Monitoring Group. The group has been conducting independent reviews of the Vogtle project since April 2018.

Approved by regulators in 2009, units 3 and 4 at the Burke County, Ga., facility — majority-owned by Southern subsidiary Georgia Power Co. — were originally expected to enter service in 2016 and 2017 at a combined cost of $14 billion. After multiple setbacks and delays, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved the continued construction of units 3 and 4 in December 2017 after Georgia Power said it would have the units online in November 2021 and November 2022, respectively.

In a June 5 filing with Georgia utility regulators, Grace said Southern's decision to accelerate required testing activities has actually caused additional delays.

Vogtle Monitoring Group "is of the opinion that a primary root cause of poor productivity and production is due to [Southern's] strategy of accelerating testing prior to completion of a greater degree of the bulk construction commodities, which then leads to inefficient and costly execution of construction," Grace said.

Grace noted that the group's analysis did not attempt to assess the impact COVID-19 is having on the project. In April, George Power cut its workforce at the site by 20% to mitigate the spread of the virus and estimated the pandemic may add between $15 million and $30 million in related costs.

In a separate June 5 filing, staff on the Georgia Public Service Commission noted that their analysis of a projected increase in base rates following the completion of unit 3 differed from Southern's analysis by more than $1.2 billion. Under their own regulatory interpretation, staff estimated $1.13 billion in prudently incurred costs could be added in base rates following the start of operation of unit 3, while Southern's interpretation would allow the company to start recovering $2.34 billion at that time.

Southern spokesperson Jeff Wilson said in a June 8 email that the company continues to expect to achieve the in-service dates of November 2021 and November 2022 for units 3 and 4, respectively.

"The project is continuing its strategy of utilizing an aggressive site work plan as a tool to help us achieve the November regulatory-approved dates," Wilson said. "The total project capital cost forecast remains unchanged."

Webber Research & Advisory noted in a June 1 quarterly report that Georgia Power has the burden of proving that project decisions and costs exceeding $5.86 billion were prudent in order for those costs to be passed through to ratepayers. Georgia Power can file prudency cost requests with the Georgia Public Service Commission after the fuel load for unit 4 is complete, "a process we'll be watching closely," the investment research firm said.