Duke promises $6bn in grid upgrades in Florida

The US utility said it will build 700MW of solar and help modernise Florida’s electric grid after cancelling the development of a nuclear plant.

US utility Duke Energy said it will end the development of a nuclear power plant in Florida and spend $6 billion over four years modernising the state’s power grid.

Duke said it has reached an agreement with environmental and consumer groups to end the construction of the Levy County nuclear project. The utility said its customers will not have to pay the remaining $150 million for the project, saving ratepayers around $2.50 on an average monthly bill. However, there will not be a reimbursement for the $800 million customers already paid for the nuclear project.

Around 700MW of solar power will be developed over the next four years instead, Duke said. It will also invest in modernising the state’s electric grid to further reduce ratepayer costs. Duke will install smart meters and 500 electric vehicle charging stations around the state.

“This settlement agreement shows that we’re listening to our customers and key stakeholders. Our customers have told us they want electricity that is reliable, increasingly clean and more secure. They also want more value and options for their energy needs,” said Harry Sideris, president of Duke’s Florida division.

The agreement will take effect at the beginning of next year if approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.