By Jacek Stramski
In Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Graham (SC11-1830), the Court affirmed the decision of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) awarding the right to provide electric service for a proposed Okaloosa County development to the Gulf Power Company. That decision was challenged by the Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHELCO), which argued that the award to Gulf Power would result in significant costs necessary for Gulf Power to extend its power supply and a significant duplication of capabilities between the two utilities. CHELCO also disputed the PSC’s determination that Gulf Power was able to provide adequate and reliable service to the planned development. As the PSC’s determinations on these questions were factual findings, and the Supreme Court found that there was competent, substantial evidence properly before the PSC to support those findings, the Court refused to alter the PSC’s order granting the right to supply power to the development to the Gulf Power Company.