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Economy / Business

Duke Energy Ordered To Return $16.1 Million To Customers

Duke Energy trucks
PEVEETA PERSAUD/DUKE ENERGY

It stems from issues from Duke's predecessor that resulted in a 2017 outage.

State regulators on Tuesday approved requiring Duke Energy Florida to return $16.1 million to customers in a case that stemmed from problems at the utility’s Bartow power plant in St. Petersburg.

The Florida Public Service Commission upheld an administrative law judge’s recommendation that Duke should refund the money.

The case, at least in part, involved allegations that Duke’s predecessor, Progress Energy Florida, operated a turbine at the plant beyond its capacity, leading to later problems that forced a 2017 outage.

Administrative Law Judge Lawrence P. Stevenson in April recommended that Duke return $11.1 million in what are known as “replacement power” costs that were required during the outage.

Also, he recommended that the utility refund about $5 million to cover costs of replacement power needed because the turbine operated below expected levels from 2017 to 2019 after coming back online.