Georgia Power announced that Unit 4 at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Georgia, has generated electricity and successfully synchronized and connected to the electric grid for the first time. This follows initial criticality, reached on February 14, when operators started the nuclear reaction inside the reactor.

Connecting to the electric grid is part of ongoing startup testing for Vogtle Unit 4. Now, operators will continue to raise reactor power for the generation of electricity while performing tests at various power levels, ultimately raising power to 100%. Once all startup testing is successfully completed and the unit is available for reliable dispatch, Vogtle Unit 4 will enter commercial operation, Georgia Power said.

The in-service date for Unit 4 is projected during the second quarter of 2024. Last October, Georgia Power said the in-service date for Unit 4 was being pushed back to 2024 due to a motor fault in one of four reactor coolant pumps.

Vogtle Unit 3, the first newly-constructed nuclear unit in the U.S. in over 30 years, entered commercial operation on July 31, 2023, after years of delays and projected costs of around $35 billion.

Nuclear energy currently provides approximately 25% of Georgia Power’s overall energy mix, including the existing units at Plant Vogtle and Georgia’s other nuclear facility at Plant Hatch in Baxley, Georgia.

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