Plant Vogtle


JEA customers are now receiving carbon-free nuclear energy from Plant Vogtle’s Units 3 and 4 to help power our community. Vogtle Unit 3 entered commercial operation on July 31, 2023. Since then, Unit 3’s nuclear energy has comprised about 6.5 percent of JEA’s energy mix. With Unit 4 now online, JEA anticipates that percentage to increase to about 13 percent.

Nuclear energy plays a key role as JEA pursues its plan to reduce carbon emissions and incorporate more emission-free resources into our fleet of power plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Closed Title:What is the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project?
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Plant Vogtle is a nuclear power plant in Georgia. The project involved the construction of two new power-generating units at the facility, Unit 3 and Unit 4. The project was initially expected to cost $14.8 billion, with Unit 3 to be completed in April 2016 and Unit 4 in April 2017 but construction delays pushed out go-live dates for the units. Unit 3 went into commercial operation on July 31, 2023, and Unit 4 followed on April 29, 2024. 

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Closed Title:What is JEA’s involvement in the Plant Vogtle project?
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In 2008, JEA entered into a purchase power agreement (PPA) with one of the project owners, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power). Under the agreement, JEA would support a portion of the project’s costs in exchange for receiving power from the units once they were completed. The total cost of the project attributed to JEA in 2008 was $1.4 billion. This amount was not expected to change over the course of the project.

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Closed Title:Why did JEA enter into this agreement?
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This agreement would provide JEA with a means to diversify its fuel sources. This would ensure JEA is not overly reliant on any one fuel source to provide power to customers across Northeast Florida. In addition, this fuel diversity would help maintain price competitiveness for our customers.

In 2008, at the time of the agreement, nuclear power was widely viewed as reliable, economical and environmentally sound. JEA’s decision to support the Plant Vogtle project was part of a larger national trend toward nuclear power. There were dozens of nuclear power plant construction projects in active development during the 2000s. 

However, in the years that followed since the project began, a number of developments made nuclear power plant construction economically infeasible. With the exception of Plant Vogtle, every nuclear power plant construction project in the United States had been shut down. Even so, its progression was not viewed as stable or reliant as promised.

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Closed Title:What is the current state of the project?
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Unit 3 went online on July 31, 2023 and Unit 4 followed on April 29, 2024. Both units now provide clean energy for Northeast Florida.

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Closed Title:How much has JEA paid for power from Plant Vogtle?
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JEA has paid MEAG Power approximately $121 million for the seven-year period beginning in calendar year 2016, solely related to principal payments on Project J debt issued by MEAG. Payments to MEAG for calendar years 2023 through 2043 are currently projected by MEAG to total approximately $4.7 billion per its most recent forecast, as of February 2023.

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Closed Title:Why were there delays and cost increases on the project?
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There are several reasons why the project has experienced delays and cost increases. One of the most impactful developments was when the project’s initial general contractor declared bankruptcy in March 2017. This led to the project owners entering into a new, amended agreement with a new contractor in June 2017.

The new agreement, which was implemented without JEA’s input, is an unlimited cost-plus reimbursement agreement. This means JEA’s liability is no longer capped at a fixed amount. Because of this, JEA’s liability has increased to more than $2.9 billion, an amount that is subject to additional increases in the future.

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Closed Title:What actions did JEA take in response to these delays and cost increases?
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JEA’s highest priority is to protect the interests of its customers, so it took several efforts during the project to find a solution to relieve customers from shouldering the financial burden of this project’s delays and cost increases. 

JEA made several attempts to protect ratepayers from these ballooning costs, such as securing alternate power arrangements that would save the Plant Vogtle project participants at least $2.5 billion over the next 20 years. However, the project owners did not accept these alternatives and decided to move forward with construction on the new units.

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Closed Title:What was the purpose of the lawsuits I’ve read about?
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In September 2018, JEA and the City of Jacksonville filed a complaint in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida for declaratory judgement on the PPA. The complaint sought to clarify the validity of the amended agreement, which was never approved by the Jacksonville City Council. JEA believed the agreement violated Florida's constitution and should have been declared “ultra vires,” which means void and unenforceable.

JEA also filed a petition for declaratory order with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The petition asked the FERC to recognize the PPA as subject to the commission’s jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act (FPA). If the PPA fell under the scope of the FERC, it would also be subject to the FPA’s just and reasonable standards. JEA believed the agreement failed to meet these standards due to continuing cost increases and completion delays.

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Closed Title:Why did JEA take these actions?
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The Plant Vogtle project delays and cost increases place an additional burden on customers across Northeast Florida. JEA has and always will seek to provide reliable and safe utilities at the lowest possible cost and will continue to work in the best interest of our customers and the communities we serve. 


Timeline of Events

  • 1987 - Plant Vogtle Unit 1 goes online.
  • 1989 - Plant Vogtle Unit 2 goes online.
  • 2006 - Southern Nuclear begins planning to add Units 3 and 4 to Plant Vogtle.
  • 2008 - Engineering, procurement and construction contracts are signed, outlining projected completion dates of 2016 and 2017 for Units 3 and 4, respectively. Total project costs estimated at $14.3 billion.
  • 2008 - JEA signs Purchase Power Agreement with MEAG. JEA’s portion of project cost capped at $1.4 billion.
  • 2009 - Georgia Public Service Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission approve construction.
  • 2011 - First reports surface of construction delays, putting project five months behind schedule.
  • 2012 - NRC inspectors report faulty construction with rebar in Unit 3, setting project back six months behind schedule.
  • 2012 - Project contractors file $900 million suit against utility partners for construction design changes. Contractors are forced to repair welding on reactor components, pushing project to one year behind schedule.
  • 2013 - Georgia Power requests approval for cost overruns, increasing cost estimate from $14.3 billion to $15.5 billion (8.4% increase)
  • 2015 - Major contractor shakeups result in Westinghouse becoming sole construction contractor, helping resolve legal disputes about design change costs. Legal settlement increases project cost by $754 million.
  • 2017 - Westinghouse files for bankruptcy protection and Southern Nuclear becomes main project contractor. New assessments push total project cost from $19 billion to about $23 billion and adjusts service launch of Units 3 and 4 to 2021 and 2022, respectively, although Georgia PSC analysts determine project is “no longer economic.”  In light of the bankruptcy, a new unlimited cost-plus-reimbursement agreement is implemented without JEA approval, increasing JEA’s liability to more than $2.9 billion, an uncapped and rising amount.
  • 2018 - Project owners learn completion of the half-built reactors will require an additional $2.3 billion. JEA and the City of Jacksonville file lawsuit against MEAG Power to be freed from Purchase Power Agreement—and uncapped debt obligations—as cost-to-completion estimates now exceed $30 billion.
  • 2023 - Plant Vogtle Unit 3 goes online in July.
  • 2024 - Plant Vogtle Unit 4 goes online in April.

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