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FPL billion dollar rate hike denied

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

FPL billion+ dollar rate hike denied.

On January 13, the Florida Public Service Commission (PUC) denied Florida Power and Light (FPL) Company's US$ 1.27 billion rate-hike request, granting instead a minuscule US$ 75.5 million in a decision that could be the death knell for not only two proposed nuclear reactors in Florida, but several elsewhere in the U.S. "FPL's outrageous attempts to jam  their $10 billion square nuclear peg down the round hole of  fiscal responsibility,  environmental protection, and  public health concerns was judged by the Florida PUC for what it truly was -- a greedy, irresponsible  energy boondoggle," asserts David Kraft, Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Chicago, an Illinois safe-energy advocacy and nuclear power watchdog group.

The Florida PUC awarded a mere US$ 75.5 million to FPL, only 6% of  the $1.27 billion requested.  As a result FPL announced it would halt work on over $10 billion in projects, including two nuclear reactors it had proposed building at the current Turkey Point nuclear power station. While the economic downturn certainly played a role in lowering demand for the additional power in Florida, many of FPL's demands for advance payments, higher guaranteed profit margin, and less public scrutiny in constructing nuclear plants were beyond the level of outrageous even the Florida PUC would tolerate. 

"The reality is that FPL is going to have to make due in these difficult economic times," stated Public Utility Commissioner Nathan Skop.  Just like the rest of Florida residents have to, and would have had to do moreso had FPL gotten the larger rate hike request.

Source: NEIS (Nuclear Energy Information Service) Press release, 14 January 2010

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