Agreement on FPL Dorian costs approved

FPL racked up $240M in costs preparing for Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

State regulators Tuesday approved a settlement on about $240 million in costs that Florida Power & Light racked up as it prepared for Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and restored electricity in some areas.

Dorian, a Category 5 storm that devastated the Bahamas, veered away before making landfall in Florida. But FPL, which supplies electricity along much of the state’s East Coast, including in heavily populated Southeast Florida, made a filing last summer at the Public Service Commission that said it spent about $240 million putting crews in place and making other preparations in case the storm hit.

Also, it said it restored electricity to 184,000 customers who lost power because of Dorian, as tropical storm force winds hit parts of the state.

FPL and the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, negotiated a settlement that the Public Service Commission unanimously approved Tuesday. The agreement said none of the costs were “imprudently incurred,” though about $5 million was determined to be a “base” operational and maintenance expense.

Members of the Public Service Commission said the potential devastation from Dorian required FPL to make the preparations.

“If you weren’t ready for it, it would have been unbelievable how long it would have taken for us to get back up and running,” Commissioner Art Graham said.

In the past, utilities often have received approval from the commission to add surcharges to customers’ bills to cover hurricane-related costs. FPL did not ask the commission to allow it to recoup the Dorian costs through such a surcharge. Instead, it moved forward with a financing mechanism that involves using what is known as a “depreciation reserve surplus” to cover the storm costs.


Republished with permission from News Service of Florida.

Wire Services

One comment

  • john

    May 4, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    $240M to position crews just in case? Really. If our PSC was not 100% corrupt they would have said prove it. FPL has been billing ratepayers for long overdue maintenance and blaming it on storms. FPL has wasted billions on useless solar power farms, some not even in Florida. This is called mal-investment and rate payers should not be billed one dime for corporate political folly.
    Billions wasted on units 6-7 at Turkey Point in a bad design that will never be built. PSC is a political group of industry appointees that is the ox guarding the chicken coop.

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