Analyst: Slim savings as cost of Georgia nuclear plant rises

Caption: Plant Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant


ATLANTA (AP) - A new analysis shows the rising cost of a nuclear plant in Georgia largely erodes the savings that Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) secured after the project was first approved.

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power is building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. The project is running behind schedule, which increases costs.

As costs mount, utility executives have touted $2.7 billion in newfound financial benefits for customers that Georgia Power gained from securing tax credits, lower borrowing costs and better contract terms.

But a state analyst, Philip Hayet, estimated the savings are $208 million after subtracting delay-related costs. That's a small margin on a multi-billion dollar project, and the savings could decrease with more delays.

Still, Hayet said finishing the project is cheaper than stopping and building a gas-fired plant instead.

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