The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today adopted a Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) recommendation to enter a final order finding that Duke Energy Florida, LLC failed to demonstrate “that it acted prudently in operating its Bartow Unit 4 plant in restoring the unit to service after the February 2017 forced outage.” The total $16.1 million for replacement power costs—resulting from the steam turbine outages from April 2017 through September 2019—will be returned to DEF customers.
“We accepted the ALJ’s Recommended Order, as filed, finding no legal basis for rejecting or modifying the factual findings or conclusions of law,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “The Florida Statutes set a high bar for rejecting an ALJ’s findings, and we accept the ALJ’s recommendation that DEF’s customers deserve restitution for the Bartow Unit 4 forced outage.”
Because the PSC conducts all of its proceedings under Florida’s sunshine law, it cannot close a hearing, even one dealing extensively with confidential materials. In recognition of the confidential nature of the witnesses’ testimony in this docket, the PSC referred the issue of the replacement power costs associated with the February 2017 outage at the Bartow Unit 4 plant to the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) in November 2019 for further proceedings and entry of a recommended order.
DEF serves approximately 1.8 million customers in Florida.
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