Nuclear power is re-emerging as a viable way to meet new demand for electricity with the added benefit of no air emissions—including no carbon dioxide. Southern Company, through its subsidiary Georgia Power, is pursuing the addition of new nuclear units to meet growing demand for electricity. The two new units under construction are at Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Georgia. Latest on new units »
Vogtle units 3 and 4 received certification from the Georgia Public Service Commission in March 2009, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued the Construction and Operating Licenses (COL) for both units in February 2012.
In February 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy offered Georgia Power a conditional commitment for loan guarantees for the construction of the units. President Obama announced the commitment for the loan guarantees as a catalyst to accelerate the construction of new nuclear plants and other clean energy sources while adding jobs and aiding the economy. The loan was finalized in February 2014 as Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz announced that Georgia Power has secured approximately $3.46 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy toward the construction of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4. The nuclear loan guarantees are expected to provide Georgia Power customers approximately $225 million to $250 million of present-value benefits.
Along with Georgia Power's portion of the two 1,100-megawatt reactors, the remaining ownership is split among Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power's share is currently projected at approximately $4.8 billion.
Light-water Westinghouse AP1000 technology was submitted for the new units. More than 30 new nuclear plants are under construction in 12 countries around the world—almost all using light-water reactor technology. The AP1000 has received design certification from the NRC. It's safe, more efficient and simpler than current models. More about the AP1000 »
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, will oversee the construction as well as operate the two new units for Georgia Power and the other owners. Southern Nuclear currently operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear power units as well as Georgia Power's Plant Hatch nuclear facility near Baxley, Ga., and Alabama Power's Plant Farley nuclear facility near Dothan, Ala.