Progress Energy Florida Reaches Rate Settlement on Crystal River, Levy Nuclear Plant Costs

On Friday Progress Energy announced a settlement with consumer groups related to coming rate changes, the costs of concrete delamination at the Crystal River reactor and a new nuclear plant proposed for Levy County.

At Crystal River, costly repairs to its containment have taken the unit 3 reactor out of service since a steam generator replacement in 2009. The settlement with the Office of Public Counsel and other groups will remove the unit from base rates starting in 2013 as Progress studies its options for the plant. It would also refund $288 million to customers for replacement power costs associated with the outage, according to a Progress release.

In Levy County, Progress has applied for combined licenses to build two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. Progress Energy Florida customers currently pay a nuclear cost recovery fee on their monthly bills. Under the settlement, the portion of the fee that goes toward licensing the new Levy plant would be fixed from 2013 through 2017. When the refund, a separate base rate increase and other provisions of the settlement are accounted for, Progress estimates the average residential cost of electricity will increase 4 percent in 2013 compared to current rates. The Florida Public Service Commission will need to approve the settlement before it takes effect.

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