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Georgia PSC signs off on agreement to raise rates for Georgia Power customers

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(The Center Square) — The Georgia Public Service Commission has signed off on an agreement that will leave Georgia Power ratepayers with a $7.5 billion bill for Plant Vogtle construction costs.

According to officials, Georgia Power expects to spend more than $10.7 billion on Vogtle Units 3 and 4, higher than the nearly $7.3 billion estimate the PSC previously deemed “reasonable.” Georgia Power previously indicated that “average retail rates” would increase by roughly 5%, and “a typical resident customer using 1,000 kWh per month” could see their monthly bill increase by $8.95.

According to the PSC, several consumer groups and trade organizations signed the agreement.

“It is a unique and certainly positive sign when so many intervening groups sign on to the same agreement,” PSC Chairman Jason Shaw said in a release. “This is a fair and very reasonable outcome to a long and complex process.

“After years of hard work, we can celebrate that Georgia has access to brand new nuclear facilities that will provide carbon-free energy over the next 60-80 years,” Shaw added. “Georgia has proven once again that it is a leader in clean energy and will be better able to meet the energy capacity needs for our rapidly growing state.”

Vogtle Unit 3 started operations in July, and Georgia Power expects that Vogtle Unit 4 will start operations in the first quarter of 2024. The rate increase kicks in once Unit 4 goes live.

Georgia Power owns nearly half (45.7%) of Plant Vogtle. Oglethorpe Power Corporation, which serves 38 electric membership corporations across Georgia, owns 30%, while the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia owns 22.7%, and Dalton Utilities owns 1.6%.

Southern Company, Georgia Power’s parent company, says the plant is crucial to its plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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