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Florida PSC Approves Duke's Clean Energy Connection Program

Jan. 6, 2021
Program to provide DEF customers with about 750 MW of new, cost-effective solar power.

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved a stipulated agreement on Duke Energy Florida's (DEF) Clean Energy Connection (CEC) program. Signatories to the stipulation are the DEF, Vote Solar, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Walmart, Inc.

The CEC program will provide DEF customers with about 750 MW of new, cost-effective solar power and offer more options for qualified residents, businesses, and local governments to voluntarily participate in the program.

"The CEC program allows Duke's customers to voluntarily choose whether they want to purchase some or — subject to availability — all of the energy they use from solar," said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. "We found the program to be in the public interest because it encourages the development of renewable energy, lessens Florida's reliance on fossil fuels, and decreases carbon emissions."

Customers can subscribe to kilowatt blocks of solar power from the DEF's CEC solar portfolio. The fixed monthly subscription fee of US$8.35 per kilowatt block will help cover the construction and operation costs of the solar power plants and is included on a customer's electric bill.

Participating customers will also receive monthly bill credits based on their subscription size and the actual solar energy produced through the program. The bill credit reflects the estimated economic value of the CEC program to the DEF's system, consisting of reduced fuel, purchased power, variable O&M, and conventional pollutant and carbon emission costs. For the first 36 months of program participation, the bill credit rate will be 4.037 cents/kWh; then the rate increases by approximately 1.5% every year.

The CEC program also sets aside 26 MW for low-income customers who participate in government subsidy programs or the DEF's low-income energy efficiency program, and 75 MW for local governments. The program is expected to open to residential and small business customers for enrollment in 2021. It will begin generating power at the start of 2022.

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