Duke Energy Florida announced Tuesday that it has filed a revised deal with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) that will bring 700MW of installed PV generation capacity online within the state over the next four years.

The settlement agreement includes investments in solar energy, smart meters, grid modernization projects and a battery storage pilot program, along with Duke Energy announcing that it will no longer look to develop the Levy Nuclear Project.

The agreement will take effect in January 2018 and will include investments of nearly US$6 billion over the next four years while minimizing the impact on customer bills.

Major features of the revised settlement include the addition of 700MW of PV facilities over the next four years — including the development of a 74.9MW PV project in Hamilton County. The project, which will be the company’s sixth installation in Florida, will be built on nearly 222 hectares of land and is expected to begin construction in early 2018.

In addition, Duke Energy plans to install more than 500 electric vehicle charging stations and up to 50 MW of battery storage within the state.

By no longer working on the Levy Nuclear Project, residential customers will see a reduction of US$2.50 per 1,000 kWh through the removal of unrecovered Levy Nuclear Project costs. Duke Energy will absorb more than US$150 million in costs that would have been recovered through rates.

Harry Sideris, Duke Energy state president – Florida, said: "This settlement allows us to move forward to create a smarter energy future for our customers and communities. It resolves the future of the Levy Nuclear Project and reinforces our commitment to building cost-effective solar in Florida. It also makes smart investments that will offer customers more information, choices and control of their energy needs while also providing greater reliability."

Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, added: "We applaud Duke Energy Florida for working proactively with stakeholders to embrace smart technologies that are both good for consumers and the environment. Large scale solar, electric vehicles and battery storage demonstrate that Duke is embracing technologies for the 21st century. We welcome Duke's willingness to work with stakeholders on data collection and any rate design changes impacting customer- owned demand side solar."

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