Progress Energy Wants Customers to Pay More

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Progress Energy wants power customers to pay more next year to support its nuclear projects.

The utility filed its nuclear cost-recovery projections with the Florida Public Service Commission Tuesday.

Progress is asking the commission to allow a charge of $5.09 per 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential bill for the projects in 2013, up from $2.86 this year.

The utility also announced that the opening of the first of two nuclear units at a proposed Levy County plant has been pushed back to 2024, three years later than previously announced. Cost is now expected to be between $19 billion and $24 billion.

Part of the increase will go toward improvements at the utility’s existing Crystal River nuclear plant.

It’s been down for repairs since 2009 and isn’t expected to operate again until 2014.