Feds Commit Billions More In Loan Guarantees To Nuclear Plant That JEA Invested In

Mar 22, 2019

The federal government Friday promised another $3.7 billion in loan guarantees to help ensure the expansion of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant gets done in Georgia.

It’s a development that could resonate in Jacksonville since JEA signed a 20 year contract in 2008 that obligates the city-owned utility to buy electricity from the plant.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry made the loan guarantee announcement at the Waynesboro, Georgia power plant in the eastern part of the state.

“We have the goal of making America nuclear cool again, and you’re a part of it and you’re making it happen,” said Perry.

JEA isn’t commenting on what the government’s loan guarantee means for the city-owned utility.  

JEA rate-payers are on the hook for nearly $3 billion dollars. That amount could go even higher depending on when Plant Vogtle’s two new reactors are finally completed.

The units were supposed to go online in April of 2016. Construction delays have pushed the start date to next fall - at the earliest. Construction costs have ballooned to $28 billion dollars, which double the original estimate.

Jacksonville’s utility tried to get out of the deal but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied JEA’s attempt to part ways with the Plant Vogtle project last month.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.