Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 will be the first new nuclear units built in the United States in the last three decades. As construction continues, Georgia Power remains focused on completing Vogtle units 3 and 4 with safety and quality as top priorities. Once complete, the Vogtle site will produce enough safe, reliable, afford-able electricity to power 1 million Georgia homes and businesses.
- Georgia Power, 45.7 percent; Oglethorpe Power, 30 percent; MEAG Power, 22.7 percent; Dalton Utilities, 1.6 percent
- Licensee/operator for owners: Southern Nuclear
- Plant Vogtle, Waynesboro, Georgia
- Two Westinghouse AP1000 (Advanced Passive) nuclear units
- About 1,117 megawatts each
- Georgia Power filed for an Application for Certification of Vogtle units 3 and 4 with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) in August 2008.
- The Georgia PSC approved the need and cost-effectiveness, granting approval to implement the proposed Vogtle expansion in March 2009.
- In August 2009, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an Early Site Permit and Limited Work Authorization.
- The NRC issued the Construction and Operating Licenses (COLs) for Vogtle units 3 and 4 in February 2012.
- In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy and Georgia Power closed on loan guarantees for the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4, providing customers approximately $265 million of present-value benefit.
- Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2017. Southern Nuclear assumed control of the Vogtle 3 and 4 site.
- Georgia Power received unanimous approval Dec. 21, 2017, from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to complete units 3 and 4. The new units are co-owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities, and are the only new nuclear units currently under construction in the United States. Expected online in November 2021 (Unit 3) and November 2022 (Unit 4), the units will generate enough emission-free electricity to power approximately 500,000 homes and businesses.
- Vogtle units 3 and 4 are expected to be placed in service in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Georgia Power received unanimous approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) on Dec. 21, 2017, to complete Vogtle units 3 & 4. The new units are co-owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities, and are the only new nuclear units currently under construction in the United States. Expected online in November 2021 (Unit 3) and November 2022 (Unit 4), the units will generate enough emission-free electricity to power approximately 500,000 homes and businesses.
"The decision to complete Vogtle 3 & 4 is important for Georgia's energy future and the United States," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "The Georgia Public Service Commission has shown leadership in making this complex and difficult decision and recognized that the Vogtle expansion is key to ensuring that our state has affordable and reliable energy today that will support economic growth now and for generations to come."
The PSC’s decision followed months of review and evaluation of a unified recommendation presented to the Georgia PSC on August 31 by the Vogtle co-owners. The recommendation was based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment that was prompted by the bankruptcy of former primary Vogtle contractor Westinghouse in March and the subsequent rejection of the fixed-price contract. The decision continues to protect customers with new penalties for delays and cost increases in addition to penalties included in the previous stipulated agreement approved earlier this year by the Georgia PSC. Under this amended structure, shareholders will see a significant impact of approximately $750 million through November 2022 and the company has agreed to further reductions if the project does not meet the revised and approved in-service dates. Additionally, as a result, the amount paid by customers will be reduced by more than $1.7 billion during the construction period.
"Our responsibility is to our customers first and we remain focused on fulfilling our commitment to them to deliver a new energy source that will put downward pressure on rates for 60 to 80 years once the new units are on line," added Bowers.
From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked to pursue all available benefits for customers and minimize the impact of the new units on electric bills. In September, the company announced a new conditional commitment of approximately $1.67 billion in additional loan guarantees for the project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) illustrating renewed federal support for the project. Most recently, the company received 100 percent of parent guarantee funds available from Toshiba years earlier than expected and will use every dollar to benefit customers. The parent guarantee payments from Toshiba, in addition to the penalties in place for the company, are contributing approximately $2.75 billion which will reduce the total cost of the project.
The company also continues to actively support legislation that would allow the Vogtle project to continue to qualify for advanced nuclear production tax credits if the units are placed in service after January 1, 2021. Today, after including anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the DOE and the fuel savings of nuclear energy, the projected peak rate impact to Georgia Power retail customers is approximately 10 percent, with 5 percent related to the project already in rates – well below original projections of approximately 12 percent.
Final approval and issuance of the additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions.
Construction has continued uninterrupted at the Vogtle site following Westinghouse's bankruptcy in March with all Vogtle co-owners working together to maintain the project's momentum. Southern Nuclear, the nuclear operating subsidiary which operates the existing units in Georgia, is now the project manager at the site with global construction firm Bechtel managing daily construction efforts. Progress is steady and evident, illustrated by multiple recent achievements such as the placement of new shield building panels for both units, placement of the 52-ton CA02 module for Unit 4 and the installation of the first steam generator.
IMPACT FOR CUSTOMERS
From the beginning of the Vogtle expansion, Georgia Power has worked to minimize the impact of the new units on customer bills. This effort continues during the Georgia PSC's review of the recommendation with the company recently announcing a conditional commitment of approximately $1.67 billion in additional loan guarantees for the project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as well as receipt of the first of multiple scheduled parent guarantee payments from Toshiba. Today, the total expected rate impact of the project remains less than the original estimate, after including anticipated customer benefits from federal production tax credits, interest savings from loan guarantees from the DOE and the fuel savings of nuclear energy.
Final approval and issuance of these additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions.
PRODUCTIVITY AND PROGRESS
Georgia Power and the Vogtle project's other co-owners responded to the March 29, 2017 Westinghouse bankruptcy quickly, effectively and to the benefit of customers by protecting customers' investments to date in the Vogtle expansion and ensuring that progress continued uninterrupted.
Since Southern Nuclear assumed control of the site from Westinghouse at the end of July, momentum has accelerated with a consistent focus on safe, high-quality construction.
VOGTLE 3 AND 4 CONSTRUCTION MILESTONES SINCE AUGUST 2017
- Placement of two 1.4 million-pound steam generators for Unit 3
- Placement of the 60-foot-tall AP1000 pressurizer compartment for Unit 4
- Placement of the second of four accumula-tor tanks (part of the AP1000 passive core cooling system)
- Placement of the CA33 floor module inside the Unit 3 containment vessel
- Placement of the 148-foot, 300-ton deaerator inside the Unit 4 turbine building
Georgia Power has contracted with global engineering, construction and project management firm Bechtel to manage daily construction efforts. Bechtel will work under the direction of Southern Nuclear, the Southern Company subsidiary which operates the existing units at Plant Vogtle.
Bechtel brings a well-qualified, talented team with strong leadership and senior-level engagement and a strong relationship with the building trades. They have also developed a comprehensive, risk-informed plan to achieve success on the project.
Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are the first new nuclear units built in the U.S. in the last three decades.
Plant Vogtle Job Opportunities
Plant Vogtle is the largest job-producing project in Georgia. At the height of construction, it will employ approximately 5,000 people and, once operational, will offer 800 permanent jobs for Georgians. See Plant Vogtle See Plant Vogtle job opportunities.
New Nuclear at Plant Vogtle
See how Vogtle Units 3 & 4 are using new nuclear technology and the benefits they will bring to the state of Georgia. Watch Video on MotherNatureNetwork.
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