The state Public Service Commission should give a key approval to a plan by Florida Power & Light to build a power plant in Broward County, the commission’s staff recommended Friday. The commission is scheduled March 1 to decide whether to grant what is known as a “determination of need” for the proposed $888 million project in Dania Beach.
The 1,163-megawatt natural gas plant would replace two old generating units at the Dania Beach site and begin operating in 2022. But it has drawn objections from the Sierra Club and the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues.
Joining the other three major private electric utilities in Florida, Gulf Power Co. plans to pass along about $103 million in federal tax savings to customers.
Gulf, which serves 460,000 customers in the Panhandle, filed documents this week at the Florida Public Service Commission that detail plans to reduce customers’ bills because of the federal tax overhaul approved in December.
A Senate committee backed the confirmation of Andrew Fay, a former deputy to Attorney General Pam Bondi who was appointed this month to the Florida Public Service Commission.
The Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee unanimously supported Fay, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the Public Service Commission. Answering a series of questions, Fay said he thinks the most significant issue facing the commission is the “continued evaluation of the balance between the interested parties, the consumers and those who provide the utility.”
The state Office of Public Counsel is appealing a decision that would allow Florida Power & Light to collect money from customers for a project stemming from a saltwater plume that moved from an FPL plant into nearby groundwater.
The Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, filed a notice Monday that it is taking the dispute to the Florida Supreme Court.
Florida Power & Light and three related companies have filed a federal lawsuit against a nuclear-energy industry group, arguing they have been improperly shut out of a database used to help screen workers at nuclear-power plants.
FPL and the other companies, all part of the parent NextEra Energy Inc., filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court in West Palm Beach against the Nuclear Energy Institute.
With tax savings already expected to cover nearly $2 billion in hurricane-related costs, Florida regulators Tuesday began moving forward with a process to determine how utility customers should benefit from the federal tax overhaul.
Electric, gas and private water and wastewater utilities are expected to pass tax savings from the overhaul to customers, and the Florida Public Service Commission will oversee how much — and when — the money will flow through.
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