The latest delay, confirmed Friday, pushes the plant’s price tag over $7 billion. Of the nearly $52 million increase caused by the delay, the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. says shareholders will pay $34 million. Ratepayers could be asked to pay the rest.
The plant and associated coal mine were originally supposed to be finished in May 2014 and cost $2.9 billion at most. Customers are already paying for more than $1 billion in assets that are generating power using natural gas and could be asked to pay as much as $4.2 billion overall, if regulators approve. Shareholders have absorbed nearly $2.7 billion in losses.
Mississippi Power had already warned that completing the plant was likely to push past the previous Dec. 31 deadline. On Friday, the company confirmed it now aims to put the plant into commercial operation by Jan. 31.