- Storm initially was predicted to batter much of heavily populated state, potentially cutting power to millions of people
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Florida today filed with the Florida Public Service Commission to recover costs related to the company's storm response to Hurricane Dorian, as well as the smaller Tropical Storm Nestor, both in 2019.
Storm costs are estimated to be $171 million for Hurricane Dorian and $400,000 for Tropical Storm Nestor.
Hurricane Dorian, which peaked as a Category 5 storm, initially was predicted to batter much of heavily populated Florida, potentially cutting electricity to millions of people.
Mobilizing and strategically positioning a large number of power line repair crews prior to a major hurricane is critical to restoring power to impacted customers as quickly as possible after the storm.
In advance of Hurricane Dorian, between Aug. 28 and Aug. 30, Duke Energy Florida deployed approximately 7,800 employees and contractors to support power restoration work.
Residential customers will see an increase of $5.34 per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill, starting in March 2020 and continuing for an additional 11 months.
Commercial and industrial customers will see an increase between 2.6% and 7.7%. However, the specific bill impact on individual businesses will vary, based on several factors.
The Florida Public Service Commission will review the costs and determine the final amount to be recovered in a subsequent proceeding next year.
Duke Energy Florida is already using a combined $675 million in savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) to cover restoration costs for hurricanes Irma, Nate and Michael, and to replenish its hurricane reserve fund. This approach saves residential customers nearly $12 per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill.
"We've seen an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. "We're working hard to strengthen our electric grid while minimizing impacts to customer bills."
Hurricane Dorian produced sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts over 200 miles per hour when it made landfall in the Bahamas. The storm killed approximately 60 people in the Bahamas and caused an estimated $7 billion in damage.
With Hurricane Dorian's "cone of uncertainty" blanketing the entire state, Florida declared a state of emergency for all counties. Approximately 150 general and special needs shelters opened and 16 counties issued evacuation orders.
Although the eye of Hurricane Dorian came within 95 miles of Florida's heavily populated Atlantic coast, the state was spared the worst.
Sustained winds associated with the storm reached upwards of 60 miles per hour along Florida's Atlantic coastline, and tropical storm-force winds reached inland to Central Florida.
Hurricane Dorian ultimately cut power to about 24,000 Duke Energy Florida customers, most of them in Central Florida.
Building A Smarter Energy Future®
Duke Energy Florida's commitment to grid improvements to enhance reliability, security and resilience while adding more solar power is making a difference in reducing customer outages and providing cleaner energy.
Vegetation related events have decreased by 15% since 2014, The System Average Interruption Duration Index, which is the amount of time the average customer experiences a sustained outage, has decreased by 7% since 2014. And year-to-date, Duke Energy Florida's self-optimizing grid has avoided more than 144,000 customer outages and saved approximately 9.7 million minutes of customer interruptions.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Contact: Ana Gibbs
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SOURCE Duke Energy