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At long last, Florida residents can stop paying for the never-built Levy Nuclear Project

Regulators absolve Duke Energy customers of lingering Levy costs, By Malena Carollo, Times Staff Writer, October 25, 2017 TALLAHASSEE — For Duke Energy Florida customers, the never-built Levy Nuclear Project is finally,officially behind them. Per a unanimous decision by regulators Wednesday, Duke customers, who have doled out nearly $1 billion for Levy costs from 2009 to 2015, will not have to pay any more.

“I think that this settlement as a whole benefits consumers and is ultimately in the public interest,” said Ronald Brisé, commissioner with the Florida Public Service Commission, at Wednesday’s hearing

 “We feel like the cost of Levy being written off is a small price to pay for moving forward,” Harry Sideris, president of Duke’s Florida operations, said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times in late August.

The nuclear elephant-in-the-room resulted from Progress Energy, Duke’s predecessor, asking ratepayers for money up front for a future nuclear facility in Levy County. It was intended to reduce energy costs going forward, and paying ahead of time would speed the process along.

Though ratepayers were charged the upfront costs, Duke pulled the plug on the project in 2013.

According to Duke representatives at the Wednesday PSC hearing, customers will also not be charged for the cost of the land that the facility was meant to be built on. It will be considered for potential solar or natural gas facilities.

The agreement also signals a significant shift toward use of solar power. Over the next four years, Duke will add 700 megawatts of solar power, about 75 megawatts of which will come online by early 2019.

The utility also plans invest in 50 megawatts of solar power battery storage, research more efficient solar storage methods and implement electric vehicle infrastructure.   http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/hearing-could-absolve-duke-customers-from-paying-for-levy-nuclear-plant/2342259

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.

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October 27, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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