Florida Citizens Organizing to Repeal Advanced Nuclear Cost Recovery
  • 2013 Sour Orange Award Runner Up – Duke Energy Florida

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 Florida Citizens No comments
    Image from the Tampa Bay Times

    Image from the Tampa Bay Times

    The Tampa Bay Times has identified Duke Energy as the runner-up for the 2013 Sour Orange Award, which was given to the corporation that was most egregious in the gouging of Florida’s consumers. In the end, the award went to a flood insurance scheme that has increased rates for many homeowners, but the Times’ business columnist, Robert Trigaux, said it was a hard choice.

    “Many of Duke’s actions came at the direct expense of its own (and increasingly unhappy) base of Florida customers. In February, Duke decided to shutter its one and only nuclear power plant, broken since 2009, in Crystal River north of Tampa. This past week, Duke said it will take the next 60 years and spend $1.2 billion just to decommission the plant, leaving decades of spent radioactive fuel stored on site and under guard.

     

    In August, Duke finally canceled plans first unveiled more than six years earlier to build a nuclear power plant in Levy County.

     

    Residents of much of Tampa Bay and west-central Florida were forced to fund some of these ill-fated Duke projects. Thanks to a terribly misguided 2006 law passed in Tallahassee, Duke has charged its own customers higher rates for years to pay for construction of a nuclear power plant in Florida that would not have even begun operating until the mid 2020s. Duke also doesn’t need to return any money to its customers even now that its Levy plant is canceled.

     

    The price tag for Levy and Crystal River for Florida customers to receive not 1 new kilowatt of electricity? About $3 billion.”

    While Duke’s nuclear dealings in Florida, which they inherited from former Progress Energy Florida, are certainly worthy of this distinction, it is also noteworthy that Florida Power and Light (FPL) has also been bilking customers for new nuclear projects that likely have the same fate as Duke’s. They’ve collected over $366 million for the proposed two new Turkey Point reactors near Miami that are not likely to ever be built, especially in today’s reality, where the nuclear renaissance has been declared “stone cold dead.” We’re not sure if the Times has considered ever giving the award to a piece of legislation, but if they did, Florida’s “nuclear tax,” which made all these bad debacles possible would win, hands down.