Florida OK's nuclear costs recovery charges for NextEra, Duke

Tue Oct 1, 2013 5:29pm EDT

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Oct 1 (Reuters) - The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday approved recovery of $43.4 million for construction of planned nuclear generation and improvements to existing nuclear units for NextEra Energy Inc's Florida Power & Light Co unit.

In commission said recovery amounts include costs for investments in FPL's planned Turkey Point Units 6 and 7 and adding about 500 megawatts of capacity to existing Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 and St. Lucie Units 1 and 2.

When completed, these projects are expected to add over 2,700 MW of new nuclear generation to FPL's system, enough to power 1.4 million homes, the PSC said.

FPL proposed to build two Westinghouse Electric 1,117-MW AP1000 reactors at Turkey Point. Westinghouse Electric is a unit of Japanese multinational Toshiba Corp.

FPL has not decided to build the new reactors, but has said the two units 6 and 7 would cost about $12.8 billion to $18.7 billion and could enter service around 2022 and 2023.

Florida, like some other states in the U.S. Southeast, allows utilities to recover the cost to build or upgrade nuclear reactors before the projects enter service to help offset financing and other costs.

The PSC said FPL residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity will see a monthly nuclear cost recovery charge of approximately 46 cents beginning in January 2014, reflecting a $1.19 decrease from the current charge.

The Florida Legislature reduced FPL's total recovery by $1.6 million due to adjustments in calculating carrying costs, the PSC said.

Separately, the PSC said it approved an 89 cent increase in Duke Energy Inc's <DUK.N > 2014 nuclear cost recovery charges, which will boost monthly charges for residential customers using 1,000 kWh to approximately $5.62 beginning in January.

Duke earlier this year decided to retire its damaged reactor at Crystal River and cancel plans to build two new reactors at Levy in Florida.

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