Xcel: Monticello nuke plant cost estimates doubled -- to $640M

  • Article by: David Shaffer , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 17, 2013 - 10:03 PM

The utility cited the upgrades at the nuclear power plant in its request for a rate increase.

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elguevonJul. 17, 13 9:11 PM

"Xcel has defended the cost increase for upgrading the Monticello plant, citing schedule changes, vendor issues, evolving regulations and unexpected work"....ahhhhhh....so they didn't get the rate hike they wanted initially but instead only got 4.7%. Now they want a 10% hike because magically they overran the initial budget by $320 million! That isn't an overrun, that is insanity....and a way to justify a rate hike. Let's see...let just say the average utility bill goes up $15/mo per customer...quick math...1.2 million customers x $15/mo = $18 million/mo. x 12 = $216 million/yr. So this should be paid off in about 3 years. Anyone wanna wager your rates will go down then??? I'd wager more rate hikes between now and then. Good luck!

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betty99Jul. 17, 13 9:35 PM

With no end in site for the waste, we will all continue to pay for this fiasco for hundreds of years to come.

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mgalaforetJul. 17, 13 9:40 PM

The author of the article should take the time to find out exactly why the costs went up. Monticello is a boiling water reactor. Perhaps some of the increase is related to that. If the NRC has mandated changes post-Fukushima, perhaps these costs are included. Xcel can't do anything about those. Also, about $100mm of the incremental cost, the distribution piece, was not in the original scope of the project. That is not necessarily a cost overrun, more like the project has changed. And as I see one person, beyond the author has gotten hysterical already, these costhave a better chance of being spread over the remaining life of the plant, than to be recovered in 3years. Likely not that noticeable in the overall bill.

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rayk1800Jul. 17, 13 9:53 PM

mgalaforet. I perfectly willing to give Xcel the original budget plus 10% contingency. The rest of the overages and changes need to be explained in detail. Maybe another story? You can't assume the ratepayers are going to be stuck paying while the investors continue to get 10% return. Part of getting the signoff for overages or changes is finding the money (business unit) willing to pay for it. Assuming the ratepayer is going to pay and then not disclosing it entirely is wrong.

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jimmyjames76Jul. 17, 1310:08 PM

Make Excel pay for their own upgrades and repairs. They make plenty of money, and have plenty of money to keep their plants running. That's the cost of doing business. Don't like it? Tough. I guarantee this whole thing is a lie anyway. They just need to justify a massive rate increase. If the state lets them they are very obviously getting paid off by Excel execs.

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mgalaforetJul. 17, 1310:16 PM

Authorized returns doesn't necessarily equate to the company being able to earn it. Regulators, their staffs, and intervenors l bet know more about cost increases such as this, than the author would lead you to believe. Xcel would not start down the path of such a project, without it going through a thorough review process at the Commission.

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nicholas468Jul. 17, 1310:16 PM

I love that this industry can raise rates for the cost of doing business but a small business owner cannot for fear of losing customers. Must be nice to be a monopoly.

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IHATELOGINS0Jul. 17, 1310:35 PM

I thought with CFLs and load controls and conservation my rates would go down and upgrades wouldn't be needed, boy was I wrong!

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NokomismplsJul. 17, 1310:40 PM

Please see what happened to the S CA nuclear power plant. It's time to retire nuclear power! http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-07-14-san-onofre-tic-toc-20130714,0,5736015.story

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NokomismplsJul. 17, 1310:45 PM

Just think if this money was invested in energy resources that were clean and SAFE!

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