JEA working to get out of nuclear power deal

Nuclear power plant in Georgia dealing with delays, cost overruns

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JEA is negotiating to get out of nuclear power contract that costing the utiility billions of dollars.

JEA entered into an agreement in 2008 with Plant Vogtle to help fund and buy power from the plant.  At the time, the Jacksonville utility board thought it would be a good deal for customers but now JEA is trying to back out of the deal because of delays in construction and cost overruns.

JEA is concerned that extra cost could be passed on to its customers.

New4Jax has been working  with the Florida Times-Union to try to find out what this latest settlement proposal might entail. While most of the proposal is being kept tightly under wraps, News4Jax has learned JEA is trying to cut a deal with one of the plant's owner. 

No one with JEA will comment on the case. 

JEA has been in a legal battle over its contract to purchase nuclear power from the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. That agreement requires JEA to pay a portion of the construction cost and to buy 20% of the power from the nuclear power plant once it goes online.

Records show the expansion project is five years behind schedule and about $14 billion over budget.

Because of that, JEA’s costs have been going up each year, and now it’s estimated JEA could be on the hook for nearly $3 billion.

There have been court battles back and forth and but nothing has been decided yet.

A settlement is being discussed in Atlanta with attorneys from both sides. How it would work has not been decided or even if it would be accepted.

For now, there is no word on where the negotiations stand or when an outcome to the talks is expected.

There has been no comment from JEA, the city of Jacksonville or representatives from Plant Vogtle on the negotiations.

News4Jax will continue to monitor this developing story and bring you new information as we get it.  

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