PSC agrees to let Progress Energy collect $2.93 a month from average bill for future nuclear reactors
The Public Service Commission today unanimously approved Progress Energy's request to continue collecting money to build future nuclear power plants, even as its existing Crystal River plant has cracked and been shut-down for two years as regulators decide how to pay for an estimated $2.5 billion in needed repairs.
The decision by state regulators to allow for the so-called nuclear cost recovery will allow the company to collect $85 million towards a new nuclear power plant in Levy County and to expand its Crystal River facility at a cost to customers of about $2.93 per month per 1,000 kilowatt hours. Consumers now pay $5.53 per month per 1,000 kilowatt hours for those speculative projects.
Under a state law approved by the legislature in 2006, utility companies can charge customers for the development of nuclear plants now but can also change their minds and never build the facilities in the future. The commission unanimously approved the rate increase, arguing that they were required to do so based on the statute.
The PSC rejected a request by Progress Energy to collect $55 million more, which would have cost customers a total of $4.68 per month to do it, although it acknowledged that the costs could climb in the future absent the down payment today.