Tampa, Fla. (July 15, 2008) – Although it heard that substantial risks exist in the proposal to build a nuclear plant in Florida, today, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved putting Progress Energy of Florida (PEF) ratepayers on the hook for expected rate hikes to pay for two new nuclear reactors on an undeveloped site in Levy County. This decision is the first of its kind in thirty years, and the associated risks are compounded by the lack of finality in the design and cost of this plant.
The projected costs of this plant exceed $17 billion, with an almost immediate jump in consumer rates of $7.53 a month. Consumers will feel this rate shock more than seven years before the nuclear plant begins operation, if it even operates at all. A FL PSC staff memo issued on July 2, 2008 provided information depicted below on the expected monthly bill impact from 2009-2017.
“With their vote today, the Florida Public Service Commission failed to protect ratepayers from unconscionable risks in the modern day energy marketplace. Contrary to traditional notions of fairness, consumers are being asked to bear the lion’s share of the high economic risk of Progress’ proposed reactors in Levy County,” said Stephen Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “When people are struggling to pay their bills already, it’s hard to believe that anyone would vote to make the situation worse by choosing such a high cost, big headache option.”
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a leading energy policy organization in Florida and the Southeast, intervened in the need determination case arguing that Progress failed to prove the need for the new reactors, advocating instead for energy saving measures that can reduce global warming pollution, help people reduce their electric bills, and save Florida’s limited water resources. Nuclear power is the most water-intensive energy supply option. The group supports renewable energy supplies such as wind and solar that do not have the myriad of significant security and cost problems that nuclear power poses to residents and the world. # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization thatpromotes responsible energy choices that create global warmingsolutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughoutthe Southeast.