Public Service Commission backs Progress Energy power costs

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taff members recommended Monday that the state Public Service Commission approve a controversial proposal that would allow Progress Energy Florida to collect about $140 million related to the idled Crystal River nuclear plant, reports the News Service of Florida. Customers would pay the money for “replacement power” needed because repairs have shut down the plant. Attorneys for consumers and business groups argued during a hearing this month that Progress should not recover the costs in 2012 because the utility might not have handled the Crystal River project properly. The Public Service Commission is expected to make a decision on the issue Tuesday and will hold a hearing next year about how Progress has handled the Crystal River project. In the recommendation, staff members pointed to concerns about putting off a decision on the replacement power costs until after a determination is made about Progress’ actions. The recommendation warned that such a move could lead to “rate shock” in the future for customers if they are hit with the replacement power costs and other increases.

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.