JEA files petition in Plant Vogtle deal

By Nick Jones - Digital producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JEA filed a petition asking for federal energy regulators to get involved in its dispute with a Georgia electric utility over a controversial power agreement, News4Jax learned Wednesday.

In the agreement, which was made more than a decade ago, JEA agreed to shoulder 10 percent of the debt from the expansion of Plant Vogtle and then to purchase for 20 years, 10 percent of the power the plant generates.

The plant is still under construction in Georgia and has been in financial turmoil for years.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not immediately determine whether it would hear JEA's case.

In the petition, JEA questioned whether the commission has jurisdiction over the power agreement it made with Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, despite each being exempt from commission regulation as "public utilities."

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JEA believes the commission has jurisdiction, which would determine a favorable outcome for the utility in its feud with the Georgia agency. The commission does not regulate power agencies nor does it intervene with the construction of power plants or its operations.

JEA does not believe the Georgia utility can meet its end of the deal and wants the project to be discontinued.

According to the Florida Times Union, the board could vote Thursday on whether to proceed with the Plant Vogtle expansion project. The deadline for a vote on the proceeding is Monday.

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