The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a settlement agreement that resolves remaining issues related to storm protection plan cost recovery for Duke Energy Florida, LLC (DEF).
The PSC previously approved an agreement with parties to accept activities outlined in DEF’s storm protection plan (SPP), as well as an agreement specifying the types of costs that would be recovered through the storm protection cost recovery clause (SPPCRC). Today’s decision authorizes DEF’s planned recovery of specific incremental costs through the SPPCRC. At the September 1, 2020 hearing, Walmart had opposed the agreement, so a decision was continued to today.
“The public interest is at the forefront of our decisions when parties negotiate outcomes, making sure they benefit everyone involved,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “The Agreements for DEF are in the public interest because the company still must prove the prudence of the costs identified for its storm protection plan.”
DEF had requested recovery of nearly $10 million through the SPPCRC in 2021, which is the projected SPP related costs. The estimated monthly residential rate impact based on 1,000 kWh usage is $0.31 that will go into effect on January 1, 2021.
Legislation passed in 2019 requires Florida’s investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) to file 10-year SPPs outlining initiatives to strengthen infrastructure to withstand extreme weather for PSC approval. The PSC is also required to provide an annual report on the status of the IOU’s storm protection activities to the Governor and the Legislature.
Florida’s IOUs already have storm hardening programs financed through a utility’s base rates. The new rules established a separate cost recovery mechanism for storm protection activities, as required in the new storm protection law. IOUs may seek PSC approval to recover incremental costs annually—in a separate recovery clause—similar to their request for fuel cost recovery.
Signatories to the Agreement include DEF, the Office of Public Counsel—representing customers—and White Spring Agricultural Chemicals, Inc. d/b/a PCS Phosphate.
DEF serves about 1.8 million customers in Florida.
FPL /Gulf Storm Protection Plan Cost Recovery Settlement Approved
Also in the Storm Protection Plan Cost Recovery Clause docket, the PSC approved a second settlement agreement filed by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Gulf Power Company (Gulf), the Office of Public Counsel—representing consumers—and Walmart.
The Commission approved the first FPL/Gulf agreement on August 10 that fully resolved the companies’ Storm Protection Plan dockets, and partially resolved the SPPCRC by identifying which costs would continue to be included in base rates. Today’s settlement approval resolves all remaining matters.
In 2021, FPL residential customers will see a SPPCRC bill impact of $0.42 per 1,000 kWh and Gulf residential customers will see a SPPCRC bill impact of $0.37 per 1,000 kWh.
FPL serves nearly 5 million customer accounts in Florida and Gulf serves approximately 463,000 customers in Northwest Florida.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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