Duke Energy abandons its nine-year old Levy nuclear power plant project for renewable energy generation

Duke Energy, an electric power holding firm based in the U.S., has recently declared that it intends to put a stop to the construction of the Levy nuclear project in accordance with Florida’s public service commission (FPSC) legislations. The firm has instead, decided to invest USD 6 billion on constructing solar power plants across the state of Florida, which involves the deployment of 700 MW of solar capacity over the next four years across West Florida. Duke’s announcement has added to the woes of the rapidly declining U.S. nuclear power industry.

According to the settlement finalized with the public service commission based in the state of Florida, Duke Energy has been granted the permission to produce green energy for its end users. The strategic move has further strengthened the firm’s commitment to invest in cost-efficient smart meters, electric vehicle charging substations, battery storage systems, and grid modernization.

For the record, the Levy nuclear venture was launched in 2008 and had apparently faced obstacles in the initial years of its inception. The year 2013, however, witnessed a decline in the prices of natural gas and the possibilities of Duke Energy recovering its expenses on the nuclear plant had turned out to be practically negligible. The energy giant annulled its engineering and construction deals during the year and declined the possibility of abandoning the project altogether. Duke had stated that it will decide on the Levy nuclear plant construction at the site in the near future. Since the last nine years, the company has spent nearly USD 800 million on the venture.

With the news of Duke abandoning its Levy nuclear plant construction at Florida traversing industry circles, the costs incurred by the company have been categorized as sunk costs. As per Duke’s agreement with the FPSC, the losses incurred will not impact the consumers, as the firm intends to bear the monetary losses amounting to nearly USD 150 million. In addition to this, consumers are expected to be largely benefited due to the firm’s announcement of reducing the power costs by USD 2.50/1000 KWH.

As a part of its corporate social responsibility, Duke Energy has planned to invest more capital across renewable energy projects and will deploy 500 charging centers for electric cars. It is projected to set up a 50-megawatt grid-scale battery storage unit to store the excess solar energy. One of its first solar plants is anticipated to be set up in the Hamilton county on a 550-acre land. The 300,000-solar panel plant will have a power-generating capacity of about 74.9 megawatts, which is projected to be sufficient enough to fulfill the clean energy requirements of nearly 20,000 households. As the experts state, go-green initiatives undertaken by the giants of the power generating sector will not only help in the fossil fuel conservation but also will boost the growth of the U.S. renewable energy industry.

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Dhananjay Punekar

Dhananjay develops content for Market Size Forecasters. A post graduate in mathematics as well as business administration, he worked as a process executive in Infosys BPO Limited before switching his professional genre. Following his childhood passion, he opted for a career in writing and now pens d...

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