TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Power & Light customers will pay nearly $43.5 million next year for nuclear-power projects, including $16.2 million for a plan to eventually build two new reactors in Miami-Dade County, state regulators decided Tuesday.
The project costs will have relatively little impact on customers’ monthly bills.
A Florida residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay about 46 cents, which is actually down from $1.65 in nuclear costs that a customer pays this year.
But the costs are part of a broader debate about a 2006 law that has allowed FPL and Duke Energy Florida to collect money for nuclear projects that will not produce electricity for years — if ever. The $16.2 million approved Tuesday by the state Public Service Commission will go toward licensing, permitting and engineering for FPL’s proposal to build reactors at its Turkey Point complex in South Miami-Dade.
The Turkey Point reactors would begin producing electricity in 2022 and 2023 and are ultimately projected to cost $12.7 billion to $18.5 billion.
Public Service Commission members said they think the project remains cost-effective, at least in part because nuclear reactors save money long-term on fuel expenses. But the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which has long fought against the nuclear costs, issued a statement saying the Public Service Commission played “lap dog” to FPL.
The group contends, in part, that customers are paying for proposed reactors that likely will never generate electricity.