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Fla. PSC approves deferral of FPL cost recovery for Turkey Point nuke project


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Fla. PSC approves deferral of FPL cost recovery for Turkey Point nuke project

Floridaregulators on July 7 unanimously approved Florida Power & Light Co.'s request to defer until2018 customer charges for two proposed nuclear reactors.

Withoutthe charge, the Florida Public Service Commission estimated customers using1,000 kWh per month will see a reduction of 34 cents on their monthly billsstarting January 2017.

InMay, the NextEra Energy Inc.subsidiary requested recovery in 2017 for $22.1 million associated withpreconstruction costs at its planned Turkey Point units 6 and 7. But FPL from environmentalgroups and other intervenors for its request to waive an annual requiredfeasibility study, since the utility only intends to incur costs associatedwith maintaining licenses and permits for the planned nuclear developmentduring the 2017-2020 period.

InJune, FPL relented and withdrewits motion to waive the feasibility study, and asked to deferconsideration of that issue and its requested recovery of $22.1 million untilthe 2017 nuclear cost recovery cycle to determine costs recovered fromcustomers in 2018.

Duringa brief hearing July 7, FPL attorney Jessica Cano said the company stillexpects to receive federal operating licenses and permits for the project in2017. But Cano also suggested the current projected operational dates for thenew Turkey Point units could be subject to change. FPL anticipates the earliestpractical dates for bringing Turkey Point 6 online would be mid-2027 and forTurkey Point 7 mid-2028.

"FPLhas not undertaken the process of formally revising its project schedule,"Cano said. "Of course, the decision not to initiate preconstruction workat the earliest opportunity next year will have some impact on that. It'sreasonable to assume about a year for a year deferral between 2017 and when thecompany begins preconstruction work. But a detailed revision of the projectschedule has not been done."

ThePSC's 2016 nuclear cost recovery hearing is scheduled to begin Aug. 10, wherethe commission will consider a request by Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary for recoveryof $51.7 million in costs associated with its exit and wind-down of a planneduprate at the Crystal River 3plant, which it is retiring. (Florida Docket No. 160009)