SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Florida’s Nuclear Cost Recovery Bailout Considered
FPL customers again asked to cover a pre-payment scheme for proposed Turkey Point nuclear reactors in spite of escalating costs, significant delays and lack of utility’s intent to build
CONTACT: Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 865.235.1448
Tallahassee, Fla. (August 17, 2015) ///PRESS RELEASE/// Beginning Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a hearing to consider Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) request for over $34 million combined in advanced cost recovery, or “nuclear tax,” from their customers. Since 2008, Florida’s PSC has granted FPL over $250 million in cost recovery. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) has again intervened.
“Year after year the Commission has unfortunately voted to enrich the big power companies at the expense of Florida’s businesses and families for increasingly speculative nuclear reactors that will likely never be built,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “However, we remain hopeful that the PSC will finally see the light and reject this latest request and instead put the financial interests of the public first. It is time we closed this failed chapter of excessive speculation favoring utility shareholders, and move on to diversifying Florida’s energy mix with clean, easy to build solar power and energy efficiency.”
FPL has proposed two new Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the existing Turkey Point nuclear plant near Miami with cost estimates approaching $20 billion. The proposed new reactors are more than a decade from completion, currently projected for 2027/2028, if they are even built, and have experienced repeated cost increases and scheduling delays. Of additional concern is that ratepayers would not receive a refund if the project is abandoned, such as occurred with DEF’s proposed Levy County reactors that the utility cancelled in 2013.
SACE is not the only party protesting this fleecing of Florida ratepayers. The City of Miami is intervening and has sponsored an expert witness, calling into question the feasibility of the project, as has the Office of Public Counsel’s expert witness, who cited significant cost increases experienced at the four AP1000 reactors under construction at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle in Georgia and SCANA’s V.C. Summer in South Carolina.
Elected officials in South Florida including State Representative José Javier Rodríguez, Mayor Tomas Regalado of the City of Miami, Mayor Cindy Lerner of the City of Pinecrest, Mayor Phillip Stoddard of the City of South Miami have also raised concerns about the Turkey Point expansion and requested the PSC to hold hearings in Miami given the impacts specifically to that area. The Commission denied their request.
For information on the hearing, which begins at 1:30 pm ET on Tuesday, August 18, click here along with the audiocast. The Florida PSC will vote on this request at a meeting currently scheduled for October 19, 2015. Find more details on the current docket here. For more information on the proposed new Turkey Point reactors, visit the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
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Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of Global Climate Change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.