Make us your home page
Instagram

Progress Energy Florida fee for nuclear plant stays, PSC decides

TALLAHASSEE — Progress Energy Florida can keep billing customers, although at a slightly lower rate, for another year for a nuclear power plant that might never be built, state utility regulators agreed Tuesday.

The Public Service Commission unanimously agreed to let the utility recover $163.6 million in nuclear plant construction costs from customers in 2011, down from $206.9 million this year.

Residential customers will pay a fee of $5.53 for 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, which is about average for a small home. That's $1.42 less than they are paying now.

Consumer advocates had urged the commission to discontinue the fee until the company, which serves Central and North Florida, decides whether to build a nuclear plant in Levy County.

"We have not committed to that," Progress spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs acknowledged. She said no decision will be made until the company gets a federal license, which is expected in late 2012.

Fee revenue also covers upgrades to the plant at Crystal River. The two projects together would generate 2,380 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 1.3 million homes.

The commission's decision "confirms the state's commitment to state-of-the-art nuclear power as a strategic asset," Jacobs said.

The Legislature passed a law in 2006 that lets utilities begin charging customers for nuclear plant costs during construction. Costs for conventional plants cannot be recovered until they are completed.

At an August hearing, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy lawyer Gary Davis took a stronger stand than that taken by consumer advocates, including the state Public Council's Office and the Florida Industrial Power Users Group.

Rather than just putting the Progress request on hold, Davis argued that nuclear cost recovery should be denied for all utilities because they have failed to prove a need for more nuclear power or that the expenses of such facilities are reasonable and prudent.

Davis said if the Levy County plant is built, it would add about $40 to the average customer's monthly bill when it's ready to go on line in about 10 years.

The commission has delayed action on a Florida Power & Light request for $31 million in nuclear cost recovery. The requested amount, down from $62.7 million this year, would reduce the current charge for 1,000 kilowatt hours per month from 67 cents to 33 cents in 2011.

PSC elects chairman

The Florida Public Service Commission tossed tradition aside Tuesday to elect newcomer Arthur Graham as chairman over Commissioner Nathan Skop, who will be leaving at the end of the year. Skop is the last of four commissioners being shown the door by lawmakers, or a nominating panel appointed by legislative leaders, after voting down large rate increases sought by Florida's two biggest power companies. Skop said he should have been elected chairman under a commission tradition that gives the job to the most senior member who hasn't yet held it. The utility regulating panel, though, voted 3-1 for Graham, with Skop dissenting. One of the five seats is vacant. Commissioner Lisa Edgar moved for Graham's election. She said the commission "must look beyond individual aspirations" and "beyond the headlines of today."

Progress Energy Florida fee for nuclear plant stays, PSC decides 10/26/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 7:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  2. Eat 3-course meals for $35 at these 100 restaurants for Orlando's Magical Dining Month

    Food & Dining

    In the early 1900s, hotels offered "table d'hote" or "prix fixe" menus as a form of loss leader. Hotels didn't necessarily make money on these lower-priced, multi-course meals, often served at communal tables, but they made up for it on the booze. Prohibition may have contributed to a gradual shift toward a la carte …

    Bulla Gastrobar serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese dishes.
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman sells house for $3 million to new player

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman's multi-million Davis Islands home is staying in the Lightning family. Yzerman sold his 6,265-square-foot house Monday to new defenseman Dan Girardi for $3 million.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman sold for $3 million Monday to Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi. | [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  4. Trigaux: As Florida seeks top 10 status as best business state, red flag rises on workforce

    Business

    In the eternal quest to appeal more to business than other states, Florida's managed to haul itself out of some pretty mediocre years. After scoring an impressive 8 among 50 states way back in 2007, Florida suffered horribly during and immediately after the recession. Its rank sank as low as No. 30 only four years ago, …

    Florida's trying to make strides in preparing its high school and college graduates for the rapidly changing skill sets of today's workforce. But the latest CNBC ranking of the best and worst states for business gave Florida poor marks for education, ranking No. 40 (tied with South Carolina for education) among the 50 states. Still, Florida ranked No. 12 overall in the best business states annual ranking. [Alan Berner/Seattle Times]
  5. For the first time in Florida, a white person is set to be executed for killing a black person.

    State Roundup

    GAINESVILLE — For the first time in state history, Florida is expecting to execute a white man Thursday for killing a black person — and it plans to do so with the help of a drug that has never been used before in any U.S. execution.

    This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Mark Asay. If his final appeals are denied, Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated, premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987.  [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]