The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved cost recovery for Duke Energy Florida, LLC’s (DEF) development of two solar projects. The projects generate clean energy, diversify the utility’s fuel mix, and save customers an estimated $130 million.
“DEF’s solar projects are forward-thinking, cost effective, and benefit customers, while producing emissions-free energy,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “They are a win-win for the company and for its customers, and the solar projects also defer the need for future gas-fired generation.”
The PSC found that the Hamilton Solar Power Plant and the Columbia Solar Power Plant are both cost effective, and meet the provisions of DEF’s 2017 Stipulation and Settlement Agreement approved by the PSC. The Hamilton Project, a 74.9 MW facility, went into service in December 2018, and the Columbia Project, also a 74.9 MW facility, will be in service in early 2020.
As defined in DEF’s Agreement, the Hamilton and Columbia Projects are the first of the utility’s planned 700 megawatts of solar production. The projected weighted average installed cost for the two solar projects is $1,486/kilowatt alternating current (kWac), which is less than the cost anticipated in the Agreement.
DEF requested approval of $29.2 million in total annual revenue requirements for the two projects, petitioning for cost recovery through a Solar Base Rate Adjustment (SoBRA). A SoBRA allows the PSC to consider adding solar projects to a utility’s rate base without the expense of a full rate case proceeding.
DEF serves 1.8 million customers in Florida.
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