Statement on Florida Public Service Commission Staff’s Recommendation to Approve FPL’s Cost Recovery for Proposed Reactors

Guest Blog | September 19, 2013 | Press Releases

September 19, 2013

Contact: Jeannie McKinney, Communications Coordinator, 865.235.1448, [email protected]

Statement on Florida Public Service Commission Staff’s Recommendation to Approve FPL’s Cost Recovery for Proposed Reactors

Tallahassee, Fla. (September 19, 2013) – The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) staff today filed a recommendation for the Commissioners to approve cost recovery for Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) proposed Turkey Point nuclear reactors. A statement from Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) follows.

“The profits of the state’s largest power company were again put ahead of the interests of Florida’s families and businesses given today’s unfortunate PSC staff recommendation to approve approximately $17 million alone in advanced nuclear cost recovery for FPL’s proposed Turkey Point reactors near Miami. Duke Energy Florida recently announced the cancellation of a similar proposed reactor project in Levy County, leaving their customers on the hook for about $1.5 billion in construction-related costs. Given the Levy cancellation, and an amendment to the advanced nuclear cost recovery law passed earlier this year by the Florida Legislature to rein-in unbridled cost recovery, one would have expected a higher level of scrutiny at the PSC on the recovery of costs for FPL’s increasingly speculative reactor project.

Apparently, the Commission staff recommendation represents business as usual at the PSC, which is an extremely unfortunate situation for FPL customers who are being forced to pay this unfair ‘nuclear tax’ upfront for electricity that will likely never be produced from proposed FPL reactors that are expected to cost at least $18.5 billion. The recommendation is even more disappointing considering the revelation during the August hearing that if the nuclear reactors were built, projected fuel savings extolled by FPL would not provide a net benefit to customers until 25 to 36 years from today, if at all. The changing market conditions make forecasting these speculative benefits highly unlikely 25 years into the future, yet FPL customers are paying real dollars today for nothing. Moreover, the feasibility analysis of the project was skewed in favor of the project by never allowing lower cost, lower risk energy efficiency programs to compete head-to-head with the proposed reactors in meeting projected electricity demand. In fact, it was revealed that FPL achieves a meager 0.2% annual energy savings from efficiency programs, which makes it a laggard relative to leading utilities around the country that are achieving five times the energy savings – and helping customers save money on their bills.

We hope that the PCS Commissioners will finally make the right decision on October 1st when they vote on whether or not to accept the staff’s recommendation in the 2013 nuclear cost recovery docket. They have the power to protect Florida citizens from the risky venture that FPL continues to pursue – the question is whether or not they will stand on the side of FPL’s customers, or FPL’s shareholders.”

Find Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s final post hearing statement and brief for the 2013 nuclear cost recovery clause docket here.

# # #

Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at