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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PSC approves Progress Energy's request to charge for nuke plants



The Florida Public Service Commission rejected arguments from environmentalists and clean-energy advocates and voted 3-1 today to approve a request by Progress Energy, and Florida Power & Light, o charge customers four new nuclear power plants that wouldn't generate any voltage until 2017.

Commissioner Nancy Argenziano, whom FPL lobbyist Associated Industries of Florida, accused of being biased and unethical, was the sole no vote.

The decision allows Progress Energy to charge customers customers $213 million, or $5.86 a month per 1,000 kilowatt hour, to upgrate its Crystal River nuclear power plant and build two new nuclear units in Levy County.

FPL will be allowed to raise $63 million and add 67 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours to customer monthly bills to pay for the pre-construction costs of two nuclear units at FPL's Turkey Point Plant in Miami-Dade County and to add two new units to its St. Lucie County plant

The Florida Legislature authorized the commission to pass on the planning costs for its nuclear reactors to customers even before obtaining the federal licenses to build the plants. Environmentalists urge the commission to reject the plans, saying the state should focus on conservation measures that make the new nuclear plants unnecessary.

Renewable energy promoter, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, also noted that Florida's economic slowdown had "eliminated the need for four nuclear reactors on the scale that both Progress and FPL are proposing."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:23pm]


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