For FPL's customers, the uprate investment is expected to deliver a variety of benefits over the course of its operating lifetime, including:
- Fuel Savings: The added capacity is expected to save customers billions of dollars on fossil fuel costs, with more than $100 million in savings in the first year of operation alone;
- Fewer Emissions: By reducing fossil fuel usage, the project avoids 33 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent of removing 5 million cars from the road.
"For decades, nuclear energy has helped power Florida's economy, keeping our air cleaner and saving residents and businesses billions of dollars in energy costs," Silagy said.
Investments in efficient power generation such as nuclear are one of the reasons why FPL's typical residential customer bills are the lowest of the state's 55 electric utilities and 26 percent below the national average. In addition, because the vast majority of the electricity that Floridians use comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels, nuclear power provides valuable energy diversity.
Background Since the early 1970s, two nuclear-generating units at FPL's Turkey Point plant in Miami-Dade County have been providing safe, reliable power for FPL customers. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, FPL added two more nuclear units in St. Lucie County on Florida's Treasure Coast.In 2007, FPL received a need determination from the Florida Public Service Commission to implement extended power uprates at all four nuclear units. An extended power uprate is a proven, safe method of increasing the output of a nuclear power plant by replacing many components with equipment that enables greater production. FPL's uprate investment was made possible by Florida's nuclear cost recovery framework, which enables electric utilities to diversify the state's energy sources by making investments in nuclear power. The framework keeps long-term costs down for customers through a pay-as-you-go process that pays off certain development and interest costs before the plant is complete, preventing these costs from compounding additional interest. Although the so-called "advanced" cost recovery system only accounts for a small portion of a utility's investment, it produces hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for customers over time.