Duke proposes 700 MW of solar, 50 MW of storage in revised Florida settlement
- Duke Energy, along with state consumer advocates and clean energy groups, revised a settlement aimed at boosting solar, storage and EV charging while pulling the plug on yet another nuclear project.
- The settlement calls for 700 MW of solar, 50 MW of battery storage and 500 electric vehicle charging stations built over a four-year span. Duke also announced it will end the Levy Nuclear Project without further charges to customers. The utility urged the PSC to make a decision by December on whether to approve the revised settlement.
- The settlement, a collaborative effort, was originally approved in 2013 and set to expire in 2018, a Duke Energy spokeswoman told Utility Dive. The stakeholders, which include the state's Office of Public Counsel and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, revised the terms before the settlement was set to end and filed the updated version before the Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday.
The settlement was first approved in 2013, and is set to expire in 2018. But before the terms expire, Duke Energy, along with other state stakeholders, are revising the agreement with a commitment to invest $6 billion in renewable energy and smart grid technologies.
According to a Duke Energy press release, the settlement would nix the proposed Levy Nuclear Project, thus reducing costs to consumers. It would also accelerate the utility's adoption of solar by adding 700 MW over a 4-year span instead of 10; expand customer choices through new billing programs; invest in grid modernization efforts; and invest in electric vehicle charging stations and battery storage.
Florida's Office of Public Counsel, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, the Florida Retail Federation, White Springs Agricultural Chemicals, Inc. d/b/a PCS Phosphate and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy have signed on to the deal. If approved by the PSC, the agreement will go into affect in January and run through 2021.
The revised settlement follows a proposal from Duke for its North Carolina territory. That proposal pulled the plug on the Lee Nuclear Project because of nuclear firm Westinghouse's bankruptcy. However, Duke said it would seek to recover licensing and initial development costs.
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