Georgia Power has been granted permission from the state's pubic service commission to spend as much as $99 million on preliminary site work and licensing for a nuclear power plant in the southwest corner of the state.
Commissioner Stan Wise, who made the motion on behalf of the company, said it made sense to take a pro-active approach to nuclear plant development, as the early site work and licensing alone could take up to seven years. “I refuse to sit on my hands and defer a motion to a future commission,” Wise said.
The vote to approve the spending, which Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power can retrieve from ratepayers, was 4-1. The spending was approved for a 7,000-acre site in rural Stewart County on the Chattahoochee River.
Georgia Power had asked to be able to retrieve $175 million for the preliminary stage of the project, which means the commission, while taking a pro-active stance, approved only 56.5 percent of what the company had requested in its 2019 integrated resources plan. In addition, the company must file an interim spending report in the middle of 2019 to continue with the project.
The Georgia Public Services Commission also approved of spending for planing to add 1600 MWe of renewable capacity by 2021. “Adding renewables and nuclear together makes since,” the World Nuclear Association quoted Commissioner Tim Echols as saying.
Georgia Power also owns Plant Vogtle, the two-unit nuclear power plant in the southeast corner of the state that is in the midst of a two-unit expansion project.
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