February 2016 – SACE’s Wired In Newsletter

Enjoy SACE’s Wired In newsletter for the month of February, where staff provides updates on energy issues across the Southeast.

Southeast Energy Savings Pacesetter: Entergy Arkansas Breaks the 1% Barrier

This is the first entry in a new blog series entitled Energy Savings in the Southeast. We will dive into the recent performance of Southeastern utilities’ energy efficiency programs, and highlight how the region can achieve more money-saving and carbon-reducing energy savings. Future posts in this series can be found here. Entergy Arkansas has forced a paradigm shift in the [...]

Georgia Power’s Nuclear Expansion Project at Plant Vogtle to Seek Approval from State Regulators for Billions of Dollars in Cost Overruns

Just days after final briefs were filed in the 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) docket, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted 4-1 to approve what could be described as an expedited prudency review of all project costs to-date including litigation settlement costs. Commissioner Wise filed a motion last Friday (amended today) in response to Georgia Power’s request for the Commission to approve the recent settlement agreement between the utility owners and lead contractor Westinghouse that was first announced in late October and only recently finalized. The settlement amounts to over $916 million in cost increases to the utility owners, with Georgia Power’s share at $419 million.

What will it cost to build Southern Co.’s new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle?

So, what is the current cost estimate for building two new Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia along the Savannah River? It seems like it should be a simple question but it clearly is not. And the answer depends on when you ask, who you ask, what your question [...]

2015 Southeast Coal Roundup – Southern Company

In the 2015 Southeast Coal Roundup blog series, we are happy to report that the transition away from coal in the Southeast continues – cleaning up our air, water and atmosphere and leaving room for development of more renewable energy generation resources and more robust implementation of energy efficiency measures. Retiring and removing these old, dirty coal units from service will help to improve Southerners’ way of life by improving the overall public health and saving ratepayers from bearing the burden of expensive coal plant retrofit investments. Our first blog in the series covered the Tennessee Valley Authority’s movement away from coal. Now gather around the campfire to learn about Southern Company’s coal fleet.

Fool’s Gold? Nuclear Power and Climate Change

Below is a guest blog post with permission to re-post from Gregory Jaczko, former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman and Commissioner, originally published in the Huffington Post’s “The Blog” on December 14, 2015, which can be found here. Back in 2012, then-Chairman Jaczko was the only NRC Commissioner who voted against issuing the combined operating [...]

Don’t care about climate? 3 reasons to shut down this Georgia coal plant anyway

Between the climate talks about to start in Paris and the EPA hearing on aspects of the Clean Power Plan in Atlanta this week, there’s been a lot of talk about climate and carbon. But whether you think limiting carbon emissions is important or not, there are plenty of other reasons to phase out Georgia [...]

Duke, Southern, and NextEra Go Big on Wind and Solar – Just not in the Southeast

Duke Energy, Southern Company, and NextEra Energy Inc. are reportedly planning to invest billions of dollars in solar and wind energy in the near future – only those investments will be outside their own Southeastern territories and will be carried out primarily by their unregulated subsidiaries. According to an article published last week by Kristi [...]

Georgia Power, Alabama Power to begin addressing coal ash storage

This article is posted with permission of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). Click here to see their original post. SELC represents SACE in several coal ash related legal cases. Georgia Power and Alabama Power have announced plans to close their respective coal ash storage ponds, though both utilities remain tight-lipped on the specifics of [...]

Blinders Remain On in Vogtle Construction Monitoring Docket

One wonders what it is going to take in order to get the Georgia Public Service Commissioners’ attention when it comes to the two under-construction nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle? As reported by Georgia Power in their 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) report, the project is $1.4 billion over budget and at least 39-months [...]