Thursday, August 01, 2013
Duke Energy Writes Down $360 Million Over Crystal River Plant
The settlement, which still must be approved by state utility regulators, caps at $1.46 billion the amount that Floridians can be asked to pay for Crystal River, which is also north of Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast. The plant's premature retirement, due the structural problems, was announced last February.
The deal also establishes that the expense won't be added to customer rates until after the utility has quit charging customers for money it is owed for the now-terminated Levy County nuclear project, possibly after 2017 or 2018.
Duke's Florida utility unit said the utility has spent about $1 billion on the Levy County project but so far had collected only $743 million from customers through June 30. The agreement was a good one for consumers and the utility because "it provides long term clarity about how nuclear expenses will be handled. Though it ends ongoing legal wrangling between the utility and the state's chief utility advocate, the settlement means that consumers will pay nearly $2.5 billion for plants or projects that aren't generating electricity.
The utility also confirmed on Thursday that it has received $835 million from a nuclear insurance fund to compensate it for damage to the Crystal River reactor. (WSJ, 8/1/2013)