Duke Energy's shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant will cost $1.18 billion in today's dollars to decommission over the next 60 years, the utility announced Tuesday.
Duke expects the current decommissioning fund, along with the interest the fund will earn in the coming decades, and the plant's other owners to cover the cost.
The decommissioning fund, which Duke's customers paid into as part of their monthly bills over the years, currently stands at about $780 million. The money is used to manage spent fuel stored at the site, dismantle the plant and clean up any contamination....
Florida has fallen further behind in solar installations, this time losing ground to the likes of Delaware, Vermont, Missouri and Georgia.
A report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association shows Florida fell from 12th in solar installations to 18th in the third quarter of the year.
The slip comes as solar installations on a national scale continue to soar. Solar panel installations in 2013 are expected to end the year 27 percent higher than 2012, though solar still produces only a fraction of the power of coal, nuclear and natural gas. ...
Duke Energy officially informed the union that represents 1,800 of its Florida electrical workers of the utility's plans to terminate its current contract agreement on Feb. 3 if a new deal isn't reached.
In a Dec. 5 notice from Richard Krotseng, director of Duke's labor relations for Florida, the company said it was "taking this action to protect its options... The company is hopeful that the parties will reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will be ratified by the union membership well before Feb. 3....
In its December newsletter, the AARP pledged that one of its 2014 legislative goals is the repeal of the state law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for new nuclear projects.
AARP said it is backing a small but growing coalition of lawmakers who believe the law is an unfair tax on consumers who may get nothing from the charges.
The Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause or so-called "advance fee" has been a growing point of contention since Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light began using the statute for proposed nuclear plants that may never get built....
About 3,000 Bright House Networks customers saw their checking accounts take an unexpected hit: The telecom debited their accounts three times this week for one month's payment.
The company discovered the error Tuesday when Bright House found that its third party vendor, Bill to Pay, incorrectly processed customers' checks that had been mailed in for payment.
"There was a problem with the check processing procedure," said Joe Durkin, a Bright House spokesman. "If customers find that they've had this happen to them, they should contact their bank first or Bright House Networks."...
Duke Energy's collective bargaining contract with 1,800 electrical workers in Florida expired this week, prompting a federal review of the shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant in case of a strike.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced late Tuesday that it will perform an inspection of Duke's strike contingency plans for Crystal River.
Though Duke's collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 433 expired at midnight Monday, the contract contains a provision for a 60-day "good faith" negotiation period....
For the second year in a row, Duke Energy has paid only part of its property tax bill in Citrus County.
This time, the state's second-largest utility paid just under $22 million of the $62.5 million the county said it owed. The move comes a year after Duke, the county's largest single taxpayer, paid just $19 million of its $34 million appraisal.
The county, anticipating Duke's low payment, raised the millage rate by 30 percent, which will cost a resident with a $100,000 home about $13 a year. ...
ORLANDO — Bubba McDonald is a half-full kind of guy.
Where Florida utilities and state leaders see skies that are partly cloudy and too dim for solar power, he envisions potential.
That optimism led the Georgia utility regulator to push his state toward the ranks of the Top 5 in utility-scale solar energy, along with California, Arizona, New Jersey and Nevada — and far ahead of Florida....
Congresswoman Kathy Castor pledged Monday "to raise the profile" of the state's need to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
In the hourlong meeting with elected officials and a growing coalition of grass roots groups, Castor said Florida continues to trail more states when it comes to energy policy.
Castor, D-Tampa, said there needs to be "greater pressure on our utilities … greater pressure on our Public Service Commission" to deploy more solar power and implement more energy efficiency strategies....
Citrus County suffered a setback in its dispute with Duke Energy over the utility's 2012 property tax bill after a Circuit Court judge ruled a $1.5 billion asset could be calculated based on its "salvage" value.
Though the case is not completely resolved, the judge's recent decision means Citrus could lose as much as $10 million in tax money.
Citrus sent Duke a $34 million tax bill for 2012, of which the utility paid just $19 million and sued the county over the disputed amount. The action plunged the county school system into an economic crisis. ...
A union that represents electrical workers in Florida says Duke Energy wants to cut the health and life insurance benefits of union retirees as the utility did with nonunion retirees earlier this fall.
In addition, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents about 1,900 of the 4,000 Duke employees in the state, says the utility wants to eliminate spouse benefits of current workers, restrict holiday benefits and reduce sick pay for employees....
TAMPA — Scaling 45-foot poles with little more than a utility belt and soaring even higher in a cherry picker seem hard enough tasks for an apprentice.
Now try it under the watchful eyes of your company's senior executives and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, who visited Tampa Electric's electrical lineman training facility Thursday.
"Man, I was watching you," Perez told 26-year-old Jonathan Sanchez after he raced up the utility pole with a 45-pound belt around his waist as if he was just climbing a flight of stairs. "You're fast." ...
A crowd estimated at more than 120 people gathered across from Duke Energy Florida's headquarters in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, urging the utility to close two coal plants by 2016 and replace them with solar power.
Led by the Sierra Club, which is pushing utilities nationwide to close coal plants, almost two dozen groups participated in the chilly morning rally with banners that read "Sunshine State for Solar Power," "Solar is the Power!" and "Let the Sun shine."...
Tampa treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration ended the third quarter of 2013 with a net loss of $900,000, the result of one-time costs related to a court ruling against the firm.
The third-quarter loss of 1 cent per share was down from net income of 5 cents, or $3.8 million, during the same period a year ago.
For the first nine months of this year, Odyssey lost $21.5 million, compared with a $17.3 million loss during the first nine months of 2012....
To Florida's big utilities, the Sunshine State isn't as bright as its nickname indicates.
Too cloudy. Too hazy. Too much darkness. It just doesn't have the pounding rays of, say, Arizona or parts of California.
As such, the reasoning goes, the Sort of Sunny State isn't great for solar energy — unless someone develops storage technology to overcome those limitations.
Enter Yogi Goswami, an internationally renowned mechanical engineer at the University of South Florida. ...