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Vogtle Unit 4 Makes Progress But In-Service Date Slips to Q2 2024

Georgia Power announced a significant milestone in the startup process of Vogtle Unit 4 on Friday. The unit successfully connected to the electric grid for the first time, generating electricity and achieving synchronization. This comes after the loading of nuclear fuel in August 2023.

However, the in-service date for Unit 4 has been slightly delayed and is now projected for sometime in Q2 2024. This is a shift from the previous estimate of late Q4 2023 or Q1 2024 communicated by Georgia Power in August.

Vogtle Unit 4 is one of two new nuclear reactors under construction at the Vogtle plant in Georgia. It, along with Unit 3 (which entered commercial operation in July 2023), represent the first new nuclear units built in the United States in three decades. Both Unit 3 and Unit 4 have a rated capacity of 1,110 megawatts (MW). The Vogtle plant also houses Units 1 and 2, which are operational and have a capacity of 1,215 MW each. The ownership of the plant is divided among Georgia Power (45.7%), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (30%), Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (22.7%), and Dalton Utilities (1.6%).

The arrival of Vogtle Unit 4 comes at a time when the natural gas and coal industries are facing challenges due to a mild winter and abundant stockpiles. Last fall, after Unit 3 came online, there was a noticeable increase in nuclear power generation in the southeastern United States, accompanied by a decrease in coal and gas consumption. It remains to be seen how the addition of Unit 4 will further impact the regional energy landscape.

While the in-service date has been pushed back slightly, the successful connection to the grid marks a significant step forward for Vogtle Unit 4. It is expected to begin commercial operation sometime in Q2 2024, potentially affecting the dynamics of the energy market in the southeastern US.

Source: TheCoalTrader, AI generated