Upgrades to Monticello nuclear plant over budget by $267M

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After a four-month shutdown for renovations and repairs, Xcel Energy is ready to fire up the Monticello nuclear power plant this week.

But as the Star Tribune reports, the project came with an unexpected cost: Some $267 million over its 2008 planned budget of $320 million. That's $587 million total, if the math is correct.

Xcel says the final cost will actually be higher than that, but won't give a figure.

Who pays? The customer, of course.

But the paper does some admirable work unpacking the complex costs associated with nuclear power. The Strib also notes that Xcel has been trying to home in on a rate hike, one that the Public Utilities Commission find reasonable.

The Strib offers written testimony to the PUC from Xcel’s chief nuclear officer, Timothy O’Connor: “[It] is a large, complex project with many intricate components that required changes from original plans."

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