Georgia Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company, today announced that Plant Vogtle Unit 3—the first newly constructed nuclear unit in the United States in over 30 years—has safely reached the start of commercial operations. Georgia Power reports that Vogtle Unit 3 can power an estimated 500,000 homes and businesses, while Vogtle Unit 4 is in the final stages of construction and testing and projected to enter service in late 2023 or early 2024.
“The Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear expansion is another incredible example of how Georgia Power is building a reliable and resilient energy future for our state,” said Kim Greene, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “It is important that we make these kinds of long-term investments and see them through so we can continue providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to our 2.7 million customers. Today's achievement is a testament to our commitment to doing just that, and it marks the first day of the next 60 to 80 years that Vogtle Unit 3 will serve our customers with clean, reliable energy."
Nuclear energy is essential to achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050. Plant Vogtle is an example of how the DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO) is supporting energy infrastructure projects in communities across the nation that promote economic growth and strengthen our energy and national security.
The DOE loan guarantees to Georgia Power Company have financed the construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4, marking the first U.S. deployment of the AP1000 Generation III+ reactor—an evolutionary improvement over existing reactors, featuring advanced safety systems. The reactors will not only provide clean and reliable power to millions of homes and businesses in the Southeast, generating 17,200,000 MWh annually, but will also help to rebuild the U.S. nuclear workforce and future supply chain.
The project supported 9,000 onsite construction jobs during its peak and 800 operations jobs. The workers trained for this project will be the foundation for the Small Modular Reactor deployments we embark on next in the Unites States, as well as the AP1000s we will help global partners deploy. These types of milestones happen seldom in a career for most people. This is an enormous accomplishment for our country.