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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Duke wants customers to cover costs

BY PAT FAHERTY Citrus County Chronicle

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Duke Energy Florida has petitioned the Public Service Commission to recover almost $175 million from customers in 2014 for costs related to nuclear plants.

The amount includes approximately $106 million for costs related to the proposed Levy County nuclear plant and about $68.6 million for work done to the Crystal River nuclear plant.

The petition, filed May 1, states the Levy nuclear plant remains technically and economically feasible and will be cost-effective.

The plant will have two reactors, with an estimated cost between $19 and $24 billion. There is a tentative in-service date of 2024 for the first unit, with the second unit following 18 months later.

On May 2 Duke announced plans to suspend its application for two proposed nuclear units in North Carolina, but reaffirmed it continues to pursue the Levy plant application.

Costs pertaining to the Crystal River plant are for the uprate project going on during the extended outage.

The costs, approximately $265 million, were incurred between 2006 and 2013 and will be recovered from ratepayers through 2019..

Sterling Ivey, Duke Energy spokesperson, said if approved by the PSC, the monthly charge to an average residential bill in 2014 will be $5.62, up $0.89 from $4.73 this year.

“The Levy portion of the clause remains at $3.45 because of the settlement agreement,” he said. “The increase is due to recovery costs allowed for the CR3 uprate project, which has now been terminated because of the decision to retire the unit.”

Commission hearings on the petition are expected to begin in August.

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