Duke, FPL to bill consumers for nuclear plant costs in 2015

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Last week, Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy Florida filed requests with state regulators that could mean customers will see small drops in the amount they pay for nuclear power projects in 2015.

Florida’s largest utilities based their application on a controversial 2006 law allowing utilities to pass along costs for nuclear projects that may, or may not, ever be built.

Later this year, the Florida Public Service Commission will hold hearings to consider the requests.

Duke is asking to collect $167 million in 2015, equating to $5.50 a month for the average residential customer using 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity, down from $5.62 in 2014.

The largest number in the request is $104 million, stemming from costs related to a now-abandoned project for two nuclear reactors in Levy County.

Consumer advocates joined Public Service Commission and Duke, in approving a settlement to spread the costs for that scrapped project until 2017.

FPL is requesting to obtain $15.7 million in nuclear-project costs in 2015, translating to about 16 cents a month for the average residential consumers using 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity. FPL records that rate will be down about 30 cents a month from 2014. The bulk of the money would go for licensing two projected nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point site in Miami-Dade County.

“The Turkey Point (units) 6 & 7 costs FPL is requesting to recover are being spent to pay vendors and personnel working to obtain the federal, state, and local licenses and permits necessary for FPL to be able to construct and operate the new nuclear units,” according to the FPL filings.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.