Activists Push Co-owner, MEAG, to End the Insanity of Vogtle Units 3, 4
(APN) SANDY SPRINGS — On Thursday, September 20, 2018, activists insisted that the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), a minority co-owner of the pending two new nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle, finally abandon the insanity that is their continued involvement in the project.
Since the previous report by Atlanta Progressive News on the Vogtle co-owners, Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) has now sued MEAG over the exploding financial cost of continuing construction on Plant Vogtle 3 and 4.
JEA wants out of its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which it has with MEAG to buy energy from Vogtle 3 and 4 for the next twenty years.
JEA claims that Vogtle has become too expensive and they can get energy cheaper from other companies in Georgia.
At the MEAG Power Board Meeting, JEA offered MEAG a way out of the Vogtle money vortex and still meet its contractual obligations to the co-owners and PPA partners.
In a letter to MEAG, JEA states that they have obtained formal term sheets for the JEA Replacement Power and the MEAG Replacement Offer that could save over 2.5 billion dollars for MEAG, JEA, and Power South as opposed to the cost of completing the Vogtle Project.
“I urge you to vote no on continued construction of Vogtle 3 and 4,” Alan Howard, Chairman of the JEA Board, testified to the MEAG board. “The amount of cost overruns at Vogtle 3 and 4 boggles the mind.”
JEA has secured a firm Replacement Offer which they have shared with MEAG and Power South to deliver energy at one-third the cost of Vogtle.
“This MEAG Replacement Offer eliminates any doubt for MEAG and its Board of Directors as to the appropriateness of voting to abandon the Project,” the JEA letter states.
“A decision to continue with the Project is a decision to impose at least $2.5 billion of unnecessary costs on MEAG’s Participants and their customers, Power South and JEA, and is contrary to prudent utility practice,” the letter states.
“I respectfully disagree with Governor Deal when he says the vote to not proceed with construction on Vogtle 3 and 4 is a broken promise. Your duty is to your customers to secure generation capacity and delivered energy at the most cost effective rates, and that is the real promise here,” Howard told the MEAG Board of Directors.
“At one time, Plant Vogtle may have offered that promise but years of gross mismanagement and failed oversight in the construction of units 3 and 4 are the real broken promises,” Howard said.
“Don’t burden our children and grandchildren with unnecessary high electric bills. Do the right thing and vote no,” Howard concluded.
Power South Energy Co-Op of Andalusia, Alabama also has a PPA with MEAG.
Gary Smith, President, and CEO of Power South, said they would honor their commitment to MEAG.
“As long as you (MEAG) honor your commitment, we plan to honor our commitment,” Smith said. “If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t do it, but you don’t get do-overs in life.”
Georgia Power’s recent announcement of an additional 2.3 billion dollar cost increase only eight months after another multi-billion dollar cost increase has triggered a go/no-go vote by the co-owners–MEAG, Oglethorpe Power and Dalton Utilities–by September 24, 2018, as previously reported by APN.
Now, a group of twenty Georgia State Representatives, mostly Republicans, has recently sent a letter to Vogtle co-owners asking for a cost cap on the project before deciding to move forward with the project.
In the letter, they expressed concern about the “ever-escalating cost of Vogtle and the unfair impact of these cost increases on our constituents, who are customers of participating electric membership cooperatives (EMS) and city utilities that are partners through the MEAG.”
Georgia Power currently has an excess energy capacity of 35 percent, according to Nuclear Watch South (NWS), which has tracked Georgia Power’s performance data through their annual reports.
The longer this Vogtle Vortex continues, the more financial havoc it wreaks on everyone and the more money Georgia Power makes. The for-profit Georgia Power company posted a seventeen percent profit in 2017.
“Georgia Power’s self-enriching scheme has earned it 10.5 billion dollars in profit over the last ten years while extracting money from the pockets of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama electricity customers,” Glenn Carroll, Director of NWS, said.
The latest word is that the MEAG Board will meet at 2 p.m. Monday, September 24, 2018, by phone, to vote on the future of Vogtle.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2018)