The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted new rules today to encourage the construction of additional nuclear-powered electric generation within the state. The rules are designed to spur investment in Florida’s energy future and promote the development of nuclear power as a viable energy source.
Although nuclear plants are costly to construct, they are typically the least expensive type of power plant to operate. The proposed rules would permit investor-owned electric utilities to request partial recovery of the planning and construction costs of a nuclear power plant prior to commercial operation of the plant, as directed by state statute. Early recovery should reduce risks and encourage financial investment in nuclear power plants by allowing prudent costs to be recouped as they are incurred.
Phasing in cost recovery will mitigate the “rate shock” associated with recovering all the capital costs at the time a plant begins operating. Increased use of nuclear power lessens the impact on customers of storm disruptions to fossil fuel supplies, ensuring greater energy security for Florida.
“A diverse and balanced mix of fuel sources protects customers from significant price fluctuations and makes fuel-related power disruptions less likely,” said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar. “The new rules will protect ratepayers while promoting investment in Florida’s energy future.”
The Commissioners proposed the new rules in December, but directed staff to further refine the rule language based on discussions with the Office of Public Counsel and other interested groups. The final version of the rules is a result of those meetings and consensus reached between the PSC and participating parties.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.