A St. Petersburg lawmaker wants the Florida Public Service Commission to study the cost of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant compared to a natural gas facility.
Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, said in a news release and letter to the commission this week that a Tampa Bay Times analysis that showed the Levy plant would cost more than a natural gas facility over 60 years warrants a comprehensive review by the state....
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam declined a request for his office to study the cost of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant compared with an equivalent natural gas facility.
In a letter to Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, Putnam said he does not believe his office has the resources to perform the analysis. Putnam — the state's point person on energy matters — said he believes such a review would be more appropriate coming from the state Public Service Commission....
A Tampa Bay area lawmaker on Monday urged Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to conduct a study of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant to ensure consumers were getting a good deal.
In a two-page letter, Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said a Tampa Bay Times report Sunday that compared the cost of the nuclear plant to a natural gas facility highlighted the need for the review....
In the long run, nuclear power is cheap.
This, for many of Florida's top decisionmakers, is the Truth. Lawmakers have cast aside their worship of the free market — which long ago lost trust in building nuclear plants — and skewed state law to favor construction of new reactors.
Lisa Edgar is a believer. As a member of the Public Service Commission, she is one of five votes that green-light new nuclear plants, including Duke Energy’s Levy County project. The law that favors nuclear plants, Edgar said last month, could save Florida consumers "millions and millions, and maybe even billions" of dollars....
Exactly how would the proposed Tampa Electric rate increase affect bills?
Don't depend on the utility's recent customer notice about the rate hike to help figure it out.
Tampa Electric, a subsidiary of TECO Energy, sought to inform its customers over the last few weeks about its request for a 10 percent rate increase. It turns out that some of the rates listed in the notice did not match customer bills, and the confusion began....
Duke Energy issued a notice to the state this week that it intends to transfer or lay off 585 employees at the shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant over the next year or so.
The utility expects to begin layoffs May 31. As many as 58 workers face termination by June 30.
Duke announced in February that it would close the Crystal River plant. The reactor had sat idle for almost two and a half years after a botched maintenance and upgrade project....
In the short term, Duke Energy can keep collecting the "advance fee" money already approved for the Levy County nuclear plant.
But, in the future, it will get a little harder for the utility to charge customers more.
The Florida Senate with a 40-0 vote Thursday gave final approval to a bill that adds tougher guidelines for use of the advance fee. The bill, SB 1472, now goes to the governor....
TALLAHASSEE — Tampa Electric made its first pitch for a proposed 10 percent rate hike to the state's Public Service Commission staff Wednesday, detailing how increased costs from improvements to plants and operations to support customer growth are driving the increase.
The utility's presentation to the PSC staff closely followed a discussion by senior officials at the TECO Energy parent company with analysts about a drop in first-quarter earnings and the outlook on rates....
TALLAHASSEE — Duke Energy broke the Crystal River nuclear plant, spent a lot of money trying to fix it and now wants its customers to pay more than $1.6 billion in related expenses. And how much of the bill does Duke think its shareholders should pay?
Not a dime.
Those representing Duke's customers disagree and, on Tuesday, the state Public Service Commission took up the matter....
Not a day goes by that Lynn Posyton doesn't look forward to getting to work.
The incentives the company offers employees are enticing — awards of dinner for two or big screen TVs for reaching targets — but it's the compassion Consumer Energy Solutions shows for the community that attracts Posyton.
Clearwater-based Consumer Energy helps largely business consumers and some residential customers find the best rate for their electricity and gas in 22 deregulated states. Though the company does not make sales in Florida (since it remains regulated), Consumer Energy still devotes two full-time positions of its more than 120 jobs to giving to the community....
State senators passed a measure Wednesday that calls for a "comprehensive review" of whether the proposed Levy County nuclear plant is cost effective, prudent or even needed.
If approved by the House and the governor signs it into law, the state Public Service Commission will be required to begin the review of the Levy project by July 1 and complete the study by Feb. 1.
The action is in response to growing frustration with a proposed $24.7 billion nuclear plant that Duke Energy and its subsidiary Progress Energy Florida want to build on a 5,000-acre tract 80 miles north of Tampa....
Tampa Electric wants its average residential customer to pay an extra $10.41 a month.
The utility, which filed its rate request with the state on Friday, also wants to bump up what its commercial and industrial customers pay by 6 percent.
The rate hike is needed to offset rising costs and sluggish growth, the utility said.
"It is important to remember that while the cost of nearly everything has gone up in recent years, Tampa Electric bills have gone down," said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric, part of TECO Energy. "We empathize with our customers who also are feeling the effects of a difficult economy....
The Levy County nuclear plant project moved a step closer to securing its operating license on Tuesday after a three-judge panel ruled against an environmental challenge.
Opponents of the proposed nuclear project had argued that the environmental impact statement for the proposed reactor did not fully account for the potential harm the power plant's water use would have on the aquifer.
The panel disagreed....
TALLAHASSEE — State Sen. Anitere Flores had a bottom line question for the president of Progress Energy Florida: "The 800 lb. gorilla in the room . . . is Progress going to build another nuclear power plant or not?"
The response: Progress still didn't know for sure.
That question, and the noncommittal answer, went to the heart of the Legislature's first meeting Monday on the controversial law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for new nuclear plants, whether they actually build them or not. ...
Beginning in April, Duke Energy's name will replace Progress Energy Florida on monthly bills and signs around Central Florida.
The utility has been publicizing the name change in recent days in mailings to customers. The company plans to phase in the name change through the spring and summer and expects to complete the switch in July.
"We are notifying customers now of the upcoming name change so there is no confusion around the company name on future bills," said Sterling Ivey, a company spokesman....