Vogtle Unit 4, which is equipped with a Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 500,000 households and businesses apart from delivering reliable, emissions-free energy to customers for a minimum period of 60 to 80 years

Vogtle nuclear

Unit 4 at Vogtle nuclear expansion project in US enters commercial operation. (Credit: Southern Company)

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, has achieved commercial operation at Unit 4 of the 2.2GW Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia, US.

Vogtle Unit 4 is expected to generate electricity sufficient to power approximately 500,000 households and businesses.

Besides, the new unit at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project will deliver reliable, emissions-free energy to customers for a minimum period of 60 to 80 years.

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

The American nuclear power plant consists of four nuclear units, namely Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, and Unit 4, is operated by Southern Nuclear.

Georgia Power and its partners decided to move ahead with the construction of Unit 3 and 4 in September 2018 with an investment of $28bn.

According to Georgia Power, the Vogtle plant, with all four units in operation, is the largest generator of clean energy in the US. It is anticipated to generate over 30 million megawatt hours of electricity every year.

Vogtle Unit 3 started operation in July 2023. Unit 3 was said to be the first newly constructed nuclear unit in the US in more than three decades.

Both Unit 3 and Unit 4 are equipped with Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. Units 1 and 2, which have a combined capacity of around 2.4GW, use Westinghouse 4-loop pressurised water reactors.

Georgia Power chairman, president and CEO Kim Greene said: “The new Vogtle units are a key piece of our strategy to meet the energy needs of our customers not only tomorrow, but 20 years from now.

“As we mark the completion of the Vogtle 3 & 4 expansion, we’re grateful for the leadership and foresight of the Georgia PSC, as well as the steadfast dedication from all of the project’s co-owners.”

The construction of the new units at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project brought billions of dollars of positive economic impact for Georgia and local communities, said Georgia Power.

Furthermore, the new units have also generated 800 permanent jobs, with over 9,000 onsite jobs at the peak of construction.

Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Chris Womack said: “The completion of the expansion of the Vogtle nuclear generation plant to include Unit 3 and now Unit 4 is a hallmark achievement for Southern Company, the state of Georgia and the entire United States.”