Myths vs. Facts
Click the link below for some basic facts that debunk misinformation about nuclear cost recovery.
Myths vs. Facts
Myth: “Customers are paying for projects that may never be built.”
Fact: FPL’s nuclear projects are benefiting our customers now.
- Nuclear cost recovery involves BOTH upgrades to existing plants and new nuclear projects. This year, about 90 percent of the money approved under nuclear cost recovery is going to upgrade projects that were completed in April 2013.
- Because of increased efficiency, these projects are already delivering needed energy to FPL’s customers.
- About 10 percent of the money approved under nuclear cost recovery is going toward the licensing of new nuclear plants.
- FPL customers ARE NOT paying for costs related to construction.
- In both cases, the benefits of these projects and all costs are repeatedly reviewed and scrutinized by the state’s Public Service Commission to ensure they are being spent prudently.
Myth: “This financing puts all the risk on customers.”
Fact: Not true. In fact, FPL assumes the financing risk during construction.
- During construction, FPL assumes the risk for billions of dollars in project financing.
- The projects are financed on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
- Customers ONLY pay for construction costs AFTER the projects go online, minimizing financial exposure.
- Ultimately, customers SAVE MONEY because they are not paying for the financing charges incurred during construction.
Myth: “Customers are paying for construction costs in advance.”
Fact: Not true. Customers do not pay for construction costs in advance.
- Customers ONLY pay for construction costs AFTER the units go into service.
- This ensures that customers are realizing the benefit of these investments before they start paying for them.
- FPL is not “saving” money for future spending on these projects. All spending is for costs incurred on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
Myth: “Nuclear power plants are not economically viable.”
Fact: Independent data provides proof this position is not true.
- Independent data demonstrates that nuclear power continues to remain highly cost competitive with other sources of energy. Click here to view the data.
- Not only does nuclear power save customers money, nuclear power plants are actually huge economic engines for their regions. Click here to view economic benefits.
Myth: “Customers will never benefit from the new nuclear project given the cost.”
Fact: The Florida Public Service Commission’s independent review demonstrates this is not true.
- Each year, FPL has to prove the viability of the project to the Florida Public Service Commission.
- In doing so, FPL is required to demonstrate that the projects will save customers more money over their lifetimes than they will cost to build.
- The estimated customer savings over the lifetime of the projects are:
- Existing plant upgrades: $3.8 billion in fossil-fuel savings
- New nuclear units: $58 billion in fossil-fuel savings
Myth: “There is no need for additional nuclear generation; natural gas prices are declining.”
Fact: The Florida Public Service Commission has affirmed the need for additional generation in Florida.
- For both the upgrade project and the new nuclear units, the Florida Public Service Commission determined that there was a need for additional nuclear generation “to maintain system reliability and provide fuel diversity at a reasonable cost for [FPL] customers.”
- Over half of Florida's electricity is generated by burning natural gas. While this has benefits (e.g. natural gas prices are currently low), without fuel diversity, heavy reliance on one fuel source presents a risk to our customers should prices rise in the coming years.
Myth: “Customer energy-saving programs can adequately reduce demand for electrical energy.”
Fact: To maintain long-term system reliability, no utility can depend solely on energy conservation programs to adequately meet projected demand.
- FPL clearly identified a power generation need to meet future demand of its customers in documents filed with the Florida Public Service Commission using accepted data.
Myth: “There is no need to upgrade or build new nuclear facilities because there is slowing growth and demand for electrical power.”
Fact: Not true. Utilities cannot use short-term outlooks in planning for long-term power needs.
- The licensing and construction of large-scale energy projects, like nuclear plants, takes time – years in fact. Projections from the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research indicate that population growth will grow sufficiently through 2016 to justify power generation demand. In order to be ready to meet future needs, it’s important that companies like FPL plan and take action that will benefit customers in the future.