The Broward League of Cities passed a resolution Thursday in opposition to fees that Florida utilities charge customers in advance for construction of new nuclear plants.
In its 18 to 12 vote, the non-profit organization of the county's 31 municipalities joined a growing chorus of opponents to the advance fee, known as the Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause. The state's two largest utilities — Progress Energy Florida, now a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Duke Energy, and Florida Power & Light — are using the advance fee for planning and development of proposed nuclear projects.
Progress Energy is charging its customers $1.1 billion for expenses related to its proposal to build a $24 billion nuclear plant in Levy County, though the utility has yet to decide whether it will construct the plant. Critics of the Levy project say it is too costly to get built and Progress is wasting customers' money.
Opponents of the advance fee say it unfairly passes the risk of developing nuclear projects onto customers from the utilities and their investors. The utilities say that the fee saves customers money because they pay for the project as it is developed, reducing financing charges on construction loans.