Florida PSC Decides on FPL's Environmental Recovery and Solar Project Costs
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today found that Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) acted prudently in complying with environmental regulatory agencies’ requirements for its Turkey Point Cooling Canal Monitoring Plan. FPL asked to recover the plan’s costs through the PSC’s Environmental Cost Recovery Clause (ECRC).
The Commission found that while under the oversight of three different government agencies, and their respective monitoring requirements, none of the agencies found that FPL withheld or submitted false data. After a thorough review of the record, the PSC concluded that FPL was prudent in its actions and expenditures for the historic operation of Turkey Point’s Cooling Canal Monitoring Plan. As required for ECRC recovery, FPL’s monitoring plan is prudent and part of a government mandated regulation and, therefore, the plan’s costs are appropriate for recovery.
While finding that FPL acted prudently, the PSC disallowed recovery of the utility’s $1.5 million escrow payment required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. FPL did not meet its burden of proof that the funds would be used to benefit FPL’s ratepayers. FPL’s 2017 and 2018 monitoring project costs and escrow payment removal are subject to true-up in future ECRC proceedings.
The PSC held an evidentiary hearing on October 25-27, 2017, which included parties from FPL, the Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Today, the PSC also approved FPL’s petition to recover its solar project costs through an increase in base rates, under the terms of its 2016 settlement. The PSC determined that FPL’s 2017 and 2018 solar projects are cost effective and are projected to save customers $96 million.
In its petition, FPL is proposing to build eight solar facilities to be located in Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto Counties. The projected in-service date for the 2017 solar projects is December 31, 2017, and the projected in-service date for the 2018 projects is March 1, 2018.
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