Lawsuit challenges Florida utilities' $2B nuclear cost fees

MIAMI – A federal lawsuit has been filed challenging $2 billion in fees charged by Florida’s two largest electric utilities for nuclear plant projects.

The proposed class-action lawsuit filed Monday seeks to stop the fees and recover damages for about 6.4 million customers of Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy. The fees were imposed on ratepayers under a law passed in 2006 law by the Legislature.

The suit contends the law violates the U.S. Constitution and claims Florida customers are improperly charged for nuclear projects subject to huge cost overruns or that are never built.

Both utilities issued statements Tuesday saying the lawsuit is unjustified and should be dismissed.

Lawyers and the non-profit Institute for Southern Studies say other states, including Georgia and Louisiana, have laws similar to that in Florida allowing utilities to collect such fees.