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PSC approves rate hikes for new power plants

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-991041.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The Public Service Commission has approved proposals from Florida Power and Light and Progress Energy that will let the companies recover costs from nuclear power plant construction. But Regan McCarthy reports that means rates hikes for consumers.

The Public Service Commission approved requests from the two utilities that total about 282-million dollars. The costs will be recovered over time by a consumer rate increase. The money will be used for the construction and expansion of nuclear power generating plants. Commission Chairman Art Graham says the cost will be made up for in lower energy costs in the long run.

"The mission of our governor is to do whatever we can to minimize our rates so that we're encouraging more and more businesses to come here."

The anticipated rate increase for customers will be between two and three-dollars. Opponents worry that because the companies are recovering costs before even beginning construction the projects may not be completed until well into the future.