FPL Power Plant Deal Gets Federal Approval

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida Power & Light’s proposed purchase of a power plant has been approved by a federal agency, as state regulators consider the $520.5 million deal.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week issued an order approving FPL’s purchase of Jacksonville’s Cedar Bay Generating Plant from CBAS Power Holdings LLC.

Pointing to what it said would be long-term savings for customers, FPL announced in March that it plans to buy the coal-fired power plant — and then shut down the facility at the end of 2016.

FPL entered into a long-term contract in 1988 to purchase power from the plant, but the utility argues it can now generate electricity at a lower cost than what the contract requires it to pay.

The federal agency last week issued an 18-page order concluding, for example, that the proposed deal would not have an “adverse effect” on competition.

The deal also needs approval from the Florida Public Service Commission, which is scheduled to start a hearing July 28th.

The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers, and the Florida Industrial Power Users Group, which represents large electricity users, have raised objections to the proposal.

In a pre-hearing statement filed with state regulators, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group described the $520.5 million cost as an “inflated, overstated sum.”

(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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