Duke Energy Florida files nuclear cost recovery with Florida Public Service Commission

ST. PETERSBURG — Duke Energy Florida (DEF) today filed for its annual nuclear cost recovery with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). 
The proposed changes would become effective in the January 2018 billing cycle and continue through the December 2018 billing cycle.
The company is requesting recovery of $132 million in costs for investments made on two nuclear projects -- the proposed nuclear plant in Levy County and the power uprate project at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant in Citrus County.
Duke Energy filed to recover $82 million for investments at the proposed nuclear plant in Levy County, which is estimated to be $2.51 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) for residential customers.
It also filed to recover $50 million for the power uprate project at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant in Citrus County, nearly $2 million less than last year. This is expected to decrease residential rates by 4 cents.
The combined impact of these is an increase of $2.47 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) for residential customers or approximately 2 percent for residential customers and between 1 and 3 percent for commercial and industrial customers. Individual electric bills vary greatly and depend on the amount of energy used.
The proposed increase for Levy is due mainly to the investment in researching and selecting a preferred route for approximately 200 miles of transmission lines, purchasing required equipment, obtaining the site certification and the cost of the permitting process.
Currently the company is not actively building, but officials continue to regard the site in Levy County as a viable option for future nuclear generation and understand the importance of fuel diversity in creating a sustainable energy future. Nuclear generation is a reliable and greenhouse gas emission free source of energy.
“Delivering safe, reliable, cleaner energy at a fair price to our customers is a priority for us,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy state president – Florida. “We will make a final decision on new nuclear generation in Florida based on, among other factors, energy needs, project costs, carbon regulation, natural gas prices, existing or future legislative provisions for cost recovery and requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission license.”
As a regulated utility, Duke Energy must abide by the rates set by the Florida Public Service Commission. Only costs the commission deems to be reasonable and prudent may be charged to customers. The commission also conducts annual prudence reviews, which include input from various stakeholders, including customers and consumer advocates. To date, the commission has found the company’s nuclear costs to be prudent.