Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, has achieved commercial operation at Unit 3 of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia, US.

According to the company, the Vogtle Unit 3 is the first newly constructed nuclear unit in the US in more than three decades. It is projected to power nearly 500,000 households and businesses.

Located in Waynesboro, the Vogtle nuclear power plant is jointly owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electrical Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities with 45.7%, 30%, 22.7% and 1.6% stakes, respectively.

Georgia Power chairman, president and CEO Kim Greene said: “The Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear expansion is another incredible example of how Georgia Power is building a reliable and resilient energy future for our state.

“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.”

The Vogtle nuclear plant consists of four nuclear units, namely Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3 and Unit 4.

Unit 1 and Unit 2, which started commercial operations in 1987 and 1989 respectively, have a total generating capacity of about 2.4GW.

The Vogtle nuclear expansion project is expected to possess a total generating capacity of approximately 2.23GW.

Once all four units are operational, the Vogtle plant site will be the largest generator of clean energy in the US, said Georgia Power.

Vogtle Unit 4 has reached the final stages of construction and testing and is scheduled to be operational during late Q3 2023 or the first quarter of 2024.

The unit completed hot functional testing in May this year. Georgia Power said the Vogtle site has also received nuclear fuel for Unit 4.

The new units of the Vogtle nuclear expanion project will be operated by Southern Nuclear.