Vogtle nuclear power plant co-owners to go ahead with $28bn expansion

Oglethorpe Power has reached an agreement with its partners Georgia Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and Dalton Utilities over the construction of units 3 and 4 of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, US.

Until recently, the construction of the $28bn Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion was in doubt as Oglethorpe Power did not straightaway give its consent, citing concerns over the escalated project cost.

Now all the four owners of the 2,430MW nuclear plant have voted to continue construction of the two new nuclear units near Waynesboro. Each of the two nuclear units will have a capacity of about 1,117MW.

Oglethorpe Power said that all the co-owners agreed to finalize and sign agreements to mitigate financial exposure for each of them.

The co-owners, in a statement, said: “We are all pleased to have reached an agreement and to move forward with the construction of Vogtle Units 3 & 4 which is critical to Georgia’s energy future.

“While there have been and will be challenges throughout this process, we remain committed to a constructive relationship with each other and are focused on reducing project risk and fulfilling our commitment to our member-consumers.”

The new units of the Vogtle nuclear power plant are the first to be constructed in the US in more than 30 years. They are also the only new nuclear units that are currently being constructed in the US.

While unit 3 is expected to be commissioned in November 2021, unit 4 is scheduled to be brought on-line in November 2022.

Put together the two new units of the Vogtle nuclear plant are expected to meet the power consumption needs of nearly 500,000 homes and businesses.

Construction on the Vogtle nuclear power plant is to involve more than 7,000 people and upon commissioning of the two new units will have 800 permanent employees on board for the operations.

Georgia Power, which is a subsidiary of Southern Company, owns a stake of 45.7% in the nuclear power plant while Oglethorpe Power is the second highest stakeholder with 30% ownership. MEAG and Dalton Utilities own stakes of 22.7% and 1.6%, respectively