Plant Vogtle


Expansion of Georgia's Plant Vogtle nuclear power facility, with Units 3 and 4, will provide carbon-free electric power to consumers in Georgia and JEA customers in Northeast Florida.

In the long term, this will be a positive carbon-free investment for our Northeast Florida customers and the environment.

Jay Stowe, JEA Managing Director and CEO

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 involves 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 have pushed out go-live dates for the units. Unit 3 went into commercial operation on July 31, 2023. 

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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 ratepayers across Northeast Florida. In addition, this fuel diversity would help maintain price competitiveness for JEA 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 since the project began, a number of developments have made nuclear power plant construction economically infeasible. With the exception of Plant Vogtle, every nuclear power plant construction project in the United States has been shut down. Even so, its progression has not been 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 is online as of July 31, 2023 and safely generating clean energy for Northeast Florida. Unit 4 is not far behind.

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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 have there been delays and cost increases?
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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 has JEA taken in response to these delays and cost increases?
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JEA’s highest priority is to protect the interests of its ratepayers, so it has taken efforts to find a solution that relieves its customers from shouldering the financial burden of this project’s delays and cost increases. 

JEA has 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 is 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 seeks to clarify the validity of the amended agreement, which was never approved by the Jacksonville City Council. JEA believes the agreement violates the Constitution of the State of Florida and should be declared “ultra vires,” which means it is void and unenforceable.

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

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Closed Title:Why has JEA taken 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 its customers and the communities it serves. 


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 - Unit 3 came online in July and is safely generating clean energy for Northeast Florida.

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