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Duke Seeks Early End to Nuke Plant Charge

Duke Engery

A monthly charge Duke Energy Florida customers pay for a nuclear-power plant that won't be built may be removed from their bills as early as this summer.

The utility filed a petition Monday with the Florida Public Service Commission that, if accepted, would disconnect nearly two years earlier than planned the monthly charge of $3.45 per 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Regulators and utilities commonly use 1,000 kilowatt hours as a benchmark for residential customers, though many homes consume larger amounts of electricity each month.

Duke, which serves about 1.7 million customers including many in the Tampa Bay area, has collected $834 million of the $1.1 billion it spent for the nuclear project in Levy County.

The company projects that it could be eligible to recover another $90 million from customers through the state's nuclear-cost recovery law.

The costs for the scuttled plant included the purchase of 5,200 acres and equipment, research regarding 200 miles of transmission lines and a state site certification. The filing follows approval in October by state utility regulators of a $54 million credit for Duke Energy Florida customers for the nuclear project.