14 February 2007 — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted new rules yesterday 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.
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. The PSC believes early recovery should reduce risks and encourage financial investment in nuclear power plants by allowing prudent costs to be recouped as they are incurred.
The commission also said 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.”
Florida Power & Light Co. has already publicized plans to begin the process of building a new nuclear power plant in Florida. The utility told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in April that it would submit a license application in 2009 for new nuclear construction.