Citing the STAR Group Utility Search Conference®, the Administrative Law Judge who conducted hearings on Progress Energy Florida’s application to site a nuclear power plant and over 180 miles of related transmission recommended that the application be APPROVED. Excerpts from the ALJ’s May 15, 2009 ruling may be reviewed here.
To meet Florida’s growing demand for reliable electricity, Progress Energy Florida (PEF, now a subsidiary of Duke Energy) proposed building 200-miles of 500kV and 230kV transmission lines that will cross 9 counties in central Florida. The new lines would connect to a green field nuclear power plant on the Gulf coast of Florida. The project represented a $17 billion investment by PEF.
The company asked STAR Group to design a comprehensive way to engage area stakeholders. A significant challenge was the geographic diversity of the project. The STAR Group Utility Search Conference® enabled stakeholders from across the region to participate, resulting in constructive recommendations that reflected the varying interests of all concerned.
Despite the size and scope of the project, no intervener proposed any alternative route to the route recommended at the conclusion of the public involvement process. Significantly (yet consistent with results STAR Group has achieved on each of its utility engagements), participants testified at regulatory proceedings in favor of the project.