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PSC approves FPL's nuke fee request in record time

In record time on Tuesday, the Florida Public Service Commission approved charging Florida Power & Light  customers $43.5 million in 2014 for nuclear-power projects.

The fee will amount to 43 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, a drop of $1.19 from the current charge. It will be the seventh year the company has been able to use a law intended to help the company invest in the costly endeavor of building future nuclear power plants by collecting the money from customers to pay for upgrades to its existing plants.

The fees approved by the commission on Tuesday would allow FPL to put only $17 million into the cost of obtaining a license for two new reactors at the company's Turkey Point power plant complex in Miami-Dade County. The remaining estimated $26 million will be spent on upgrading existing projects.

Before legislators approved the so-called "advanced nuclear cost recovery" provision, utility companies were required to make the improvements and then seek permission from regulators to charge customers for it after the fact. By collecting the money in advance, regulators said Tuesday they believe FPL is operating efficiently. 

The PSC released this press release:

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved recovery of $43.4 million for construction of planned nuclear generation and improvements to existing nuclear units for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), effective January 2014. 

Recovery amounts include costs for construction investments in FPL’s planned Turkey Point Units 6 & 7 and adding generation capacity to existing Turkey Point Units 3 & 4 and St. Lucie Units 1 & 2.  When completed, these projects are expected to add approximately 2,722 megawatts of new nuclear generation to FPL’s system, enough energy to power 1.4 million homes.

FPL residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will see a monthly charge of approximately 46-cents beginning in January 2014, reflecting a $1.19 decrease from the current charge.  As a result of revisions to Florida Statute 366.93 by the 2013 Legislature, FPL’s total recovery was reduced by $1.6 million due to adjustments in calculating carrying costs.

Recovery amounts approved today were thoroughly reviewed by Commissioners on August 5, when the utilities and consumer groups testified on actual and estimated nuclear construction project costs during the PSC’s annual nuclear cost recovery hearing.

As part of a larger settlement involving other PSC docketed cases, Duke Energy Florida’s (DEF) 2014 nuclear cost recovery amount was approved by the Commission during the August 5 hearing.  DEF residential customers using 1,000 kWh will see a monthly charge of approximately $5.62 beginning in January, reflecting an 89-cent increase from the current charge.

For more information, visit the PSC’s website,