Duke Pitches $34.5 Million Plan to Halt Power Purchases

Pointing to projected customer savings and environmental benefits, Duke Energy Florida is asking state regulators to approve a plan to spend $34.5 million to end electricity purchases from a Polk County power plant.

Duke has an agreement to buy power from Ridge Generating Station, L.P. through 2023, according to a filing last week at the Florida Public Service Commission. But Duke said the agreement is “no longer cost-effective” for its customers and, as a result, wants to pay $34.5 million to terminate the agreement.

Duke would recoup the $34.5 million from customers but said in the filing that ending the agreement would ultimately save $37.6 million to $44 million for customers. Duke said it was cost-effective in the past to buy power from the Ridge plant but that Duke’s “avoided costs” — essentially other ways of meeting the customers’ needs — have decreased. “As a consequence of this decrease, DEF’s (Duke’s) payments under the Ridge (agreement) now exceed DEF’s current avoided costs,” the filing said.

The agreement also would lead to a shutdown of the Ridge plant, a move that Duke said would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. The facility is fueled by such things as landfill gas and waste wood, according to a webpage for the plant. Duke is asking the Public Service Commission to consider the plan at an October meeting, which would allow the deal to close by the end of the year.

Reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida

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