Make us your home page
Instagram

Critics attack Progress Energy's nuclear plans

TALLAHASSEE — Progress Energy came under fire Wednesday from critics who say its $17-billion plan to build a pair of nuclear reactors in Levy County offers few guarantees to consumers forced to pick up the tab.

The St. Petersburg utility has yet to sign a contract for its reactors. Its cost estimate remains nonbinding. The utility argued against a spending cap. And Jeff Lyash, Progress Energy president and CEO, said Wednesday that he couldn't say when he'd pull the plug if costs soared higher.

On Wednesday, the Florida Public Service Commission convened the first of three days of hearings to determine whether Progress Energy can justify the electricity need for building two 1,100-megawatt reactors several miles north of Crystal River, and whether nuclear is the best and cheapest option.

Leon Jacobs, an attorney representing the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said Progress Energy's cost estimate for nuclear is "pure speculation." He said the utility has overestimated demand and failed to factor in energy-saving measures on the horizon, such as solar hot water heating and energy-efficient appliances and construction.

The utility has also failed to prove that nuclear is the most cost-effective option, said James Brew, an attorney representing White Springs Agricultural Chemicals, a Progress Energy customer that uses large amounts of power.

Brew argued that the record on nuclear is "virtually screaming" that Progress Energy's cost estimate isn't realistic. It will take customers 30 to 60 years to reap any cost savings from nuclear, he said.

Alex Glenn, counsel for Progress Energy, countered by enumerating the benefits of a nuclear option: It emits no carbon dioxide, the culprit behind global warming. The fuel cost is cheaper and more stable than that of natural gas. And the utility has done all it can do to conserve electricity.

Critics attack Progress Energy's nuclear plans 05/21/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 2:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]