Duke Energy Shelves Major Nuclear Project in Florida
From Chicago Tribune
By David Adams
Duke Energy Corp said on Thursday it will not proceed with a $24 billion nuclear power project in central Florida because of licensing delays and doubts about cost recovery, but may use the site for nuclear power generation in the future.
The announcement was the latest blow to nuclear power investment in the Sunshine State and reflected the boom in natural gas development nationwide.
Although it is pulling the plug on plans to build a nuclear plant in Florida’s Levy County, the company said it continues to regard the Gulf Coast site as a “viable option for future nuclear generation.”
“We continue to believe that a balanced energy portfolio, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and state-of-the-art cleaner power plants are critical to securing Florida’s energy future,” Alex Glenn, president of Duke Energy’s utility operations in the state, said in a statement.
He cited delays in the licensing of new plants by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as uncertainties about cost recovery, as among leading reasons plans to build the plant had been put on hold.
“Nuclear energy should remain an option to meet Florida’s future energy needs,” said Glenn.
Duke Energy Florida provides electricity to approximately 1.7 million customers in Florida.
Duke Energy, the biggest power company in the United States, announced in February that its Progress Energy Florida utility would retire the Crystal River nuclear plant on the state’s west coast.
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