With a new Citrus County power plant poised to start generating electricity in September, Duke Energy Florida on Monday asked state regulators to approve rate increases to pay for the project. Duke plans to begin operating the first unit of the natural-gas fired plant in September and the second unit in November.
Duke will shut down two coal-fired generating units at Crystal River after the new 1,640-megawatt gas plant starts operating. Duke said in a news release Monday that residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month would see a $3.61 bill increase in October and a $2.27 bill increase in December.
Increases would vary for commercial and industrial customers. The state Public Service Commission will decide whether to approve the increases. Duke said the project, in part, would help reduce carbon emissions. “Our customers expect and deserve cleaner energy, and building highly efficient natural gas infrastructure is critical to delivering on our commitment to a low-carbon energy future,” Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president, said in a prepared statement. “Natural gas is also an important part of our modernization strategy to continue delivering energy that is cleaner while meeting the growing energy needs of Floridians.” Duke has 1.8 million customers in 35 counties.
Reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida