BRADENTON — The Florida Public Service Commission approved charging Florida Power & Light customers $43.5 million in 2014 for nuclear-power projects. The decision was made in short order during a meeting Tuesday. The fee will amount to 43 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and marks the 7th year in a row FPL has been able to use a law ostensibly created to help utility companies invest in the cost of building future nuclear power plants, to instead collect money from customers largely used to pay for upgrades to its existing plants.
The fees approved Tuesday would allow FPL to put $17 million into the cost of a license for two new reactors. The remaining money collected (estimated at $26 million) will be spent on upgrading existing projects.
The PSC issued this press release explaining the decision:
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved recovery of $43.4 million for construction of planned nuclear generation and improvements to existing nuclear units for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), effective January 2014.
Recovery amounts include costs for construction investments in FPL’s planned Turkey Point Units 6 & 7 and adding generation capacity to existing Turkey Point Units 3 & 4 and St. Lucie Units 1 & 2. When completed, these projects are expected to add approximately 2,722 megawatts of new nuclear generation to FPL’s system, enough energy to power 1.4 million homes.
FPL residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will see a monthly charge of approximately 46-cents beginning in January 2014, reflecting a $1.19 decrease from the current charge. As a result of revisions to Florida Statute 366.93 by the 2013 Legislature, FPL’s total recovery was reduced by $1.6 million due to adjustments in calculating carrying costs.
Recovery amounts approved today were thoroughly reviewed by Commissioners on August 5, when the utilities and consumer groups testified on actual and estimated nuclear construction project costs during the PSC’s annual nuclear cost recovery hearing.
As part of a larger settlement involving other PSC docketed cases, Duke Energy Florida’s (DEF) 2014 nuclear cost recovery amount was approved by the Commission during the August 5 hearing. DEF residential customers using 1,000 kWh will see a monthly charge of approximately $5.62 beginning in January, reflecting an 89-cent increase from the current charge.
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