Florida PSC approves nuclear settlement with Duke Energy

10/17/13 Seán Kinane
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Tags: Duke Energy, nuclear power, nukes, Progress Energy Florida, PSC, Florida Public Service Commission, FLPIRG

Thursday the Florida Public Service Commission approved a financial settlement with Duke Energy to pass along most of the costs of two failed nuclear energy projects to customers. During the first part of the hearing Wednesday in Tallahassee consumer advocates asked the PSC to reject the settlement, or at least hold meetings in Pinellas County, where most Duke customers live in Florida. But Thursday the PSC, including chair Ronald Brisé, voted 4-1 to approve the deal.

"Yes, it's a difficult situation across the board. It's not what anyone would have liked. But this settlement provides the best resolution of the many unknowns that exist. So, therefore, we created based upon the settlement and as I listened to the interveners there is now a fence around the things that we can control. With that, I believe that it is absolutely in the public interest that we support this settlement today. It provides a certain level of certainty for a particular amount of time. It also takes off the table Levy and it addresses many other challenges that could come about and would have to go through various processes in order to get some resolution to some of those issues. So, I think, in terms of our responsibility as being an administrative body that's supposed to be efficient and effective at the same time that this resolution is the best resolution at this time."

Wednesday the Florida Public Interest Research Group suggested that if the PSC left Duke’s customers – rather than shareholders -- holding the $3 billion bill for the failed nukes they might initiate a class action lawsuit.

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