Duke petition to recover investments made in Citrus plant

US utility Duke Energy has filed a proposal with the Florida Public Utilities Commission to increase its energy tariifs to recover investment costs associated with the utility’s Citrus natural gas-fired plant.

If approved, Duke Energy will increase consumer energy tariffs by between 2.5% and 3.5% as from October to recover funds made in Unit 1 of Citrus plant.

Unit 1 of Citrus plant will generate 820MW and will start operation in September.

Duke Energy will also increase tariffs for residential customers by $2.25 and for commercial and industrial customers by between 1.5% and 2.1% to recover investments made towards the development of unit 2 of Citrus plant, as from December.

Unit 2 of the natural gas plant will also generate 820MW starting in November.

Once completed, the two units will provide affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to 1.8 million Florida customers in 35 counties.

Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president, said: “Natural gas is also an important part of our modernisation strategy to continue delivering energy that is cleaner while meeting the growing energy needs of Floridians. More than ever, we are determined to make smarter energy investments that will benefit our customers and build the cleaner energy future we all want.”

Expanding portfolio of clean energy resources will help Duke Energy to reduce its carbon footprint and meet state and federal environmental regulations.

Since 2005, the utility has reduced its sulfur dioxide emissions by 91%, nitrogen oxides by 75% and carbon dioxide by 21%.

Citrus plant is expected to have an area economic benefit of more than $600 million during construction and $13 million annually when operating.

Duke also has plans to increase its investments in grid resiliency against storms and in clean energy over the next ten years.