The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today ordered Duke Energy Florida, LLC (DEF) to credit customers $7.2 million for replacement power costs caused by its forced outage at Crystal River Unit 4 (CR4).
A forced outage of CR4 was necessary from January 2021 through April 2021 after the plant operator’s three attempts to synchronize the unit to the grid failed. These actions damaged the generator rotor and extended the outage, resulting in a total of $14.4 million in replacement power costs. CR4 is a 715 megawatt coal-fired steam unit located in Citrus County.
After considering all the evidence, Commissioners agreed that the malfunction of a part was outside the control of the utility but impacted the outage. However, CR4 was not operated pursuant to written procedures. DEF has implemented corrective measures as a result of the outage
“Today, we decided that DEF was not entitled to recover the full replacement power recovery costs associated with the outage. DEF has the responsibility to ensure prudent operations, but, in this instance, an unforeseeable equipment failure was also at fault,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “Customers should not bear the total cost of DEF’s outage, which the company has since addressed.”
This DEF company-specific fuel issue was the only remaining item from the PSC’s cost recovery hearing held on November 2, 2021. DEF’s replacement fuel recovery charges will be credited to customers through its 2021 Final True-Up filing.
DEF serves more than 1.9 million customers in Florida.
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