Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Business

Sen. Fasano to PSC: Stop utility advance fees for nuclear projects

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, this week called on the state Public Service Commission to stop allowing utilities to charge customers in advance for new nuclear projects.

In a letter Thursday, Fasano told the five-member commission that advance fees called the "nuclear cost recovery clause" have added an extra burden to consumers.

He said the fees are most troubling to him because they are "for projects that have no time line for completion, no benchmarks to meet, no limits on the ever-increasing expenses, and no guarantee or requirement that they even be completed."

Progress Energy and Florida Power & Light want to build nuclear plants in Florida and are upgrading their existing reactors to increase the amount of power they can generate.

Progress proposes to build the most costly nuclear plant in U.S. history, totaling as much as $24 billion. Customers already are paying $1.1 billion toward the Levy County project, though Progress has not yet determined whether it will build it.

"It is time for the Commission to exercise its authority … and deny any further NCRC recovery," said Fasano, who voted for the law that created the fee but now wants it repealed. "The staggering and spiraling cost of the projects coupled with the bill's impact to ratepayers demands it."

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