Eaton: Plant Vogtle expansion progressing

by Celia Shortt

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton reported that the $13 billion Plant Vogtle expansion project is going well, during his presentation to the Newnan Rotary Club on Friday.

'The Plant Vogtle project, contrary to what you read about in the press, is going quite well,' he told those gathered at Newnan Country Club for the luncheon meeting about the construction project at the nuclear power plant in east Georgia near Augusta.

He did discuss various issues that have come up with with some contractors, but said none of those cost increases have made it to the commission yet.

'First of all, none of these cost increases have made it to our desk yet because these are issues with the power company and the sub-contractors,' he said. 'They are litigating it.'

Eaton said once the litigation is settled, and the scope and validity of the cost increases is determined, then it will come to the state Public Service Commission to determine whether a rate increase is needed.

'It could very well be the largest construction project in the country right now,' he said.

'It is certainly the largest one in Georgia. The project is actually going quite well. I think 50 years from now we'll be happy we did it, that we diversified in that.'

Eaton also shared with Rotarians the importance of diversity when making decisions dealing with electricity and energy. 'We're portfolio managers,' he said. 'The key to a conservative, low-risk profile is diversity.'

He stated the three forms of fuel for electricity which can be counted on every hour of everyday are natural gas, coal and nuclear.

'I tell folks, I'm not a coal advocate,' he said. 'I'm not a nuclear advocate. I'm not a solar advocate. I'm an advocate for diversity. That's what is going to allow our country to remain competitive to provide the sources of energy at a competitive price.'

'Well, less diversity means higher risk. It's really as simple as that,' he added.



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