Florida regulators approve nuclear cost recovery plans

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Florida state regulators have approved proposals from Florida Power and Light (FPL) and Progress Energy Florida (PEF) to collect a total of nearly $300 million from customers in order to fund upgrades to the utility's existing -- and aging -- nuclear plants, as well as pay for new generation.

The Public Service Commission of Florida's Monday ruling permits $143 million in cost recovery to FPL and $151 million for PEF. When completed, PEF will have added 2,830 MW of nuclear generation to its power mix, enough to power 1.3 million homes. FPL plans to add a total of 2,722 MW of nuclear generation. A 2006 Florida law allows utilities to recover nuclear project carrying costst throughout construction, lowering the base rate for customers when the project finally goes online, unlike in the case of typical power plants.

For PEF customers, the 2013 increase boils down to roughly $4.79 a month on a typical 1,000 kWh residential bill. FPL customers will pay significantly less -- approximately $1.69 monthly.

Regulators on Tuesday also cut residential rates for PEF customers by an average of $7.13 per month.

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