The approval from the Florida Public Service Commission marks the final step in a nearly decade-long process, FPL said.

The Vero Beach utility has approximately 35,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the City of Vero Beach.

FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said: “Eight years ago, the City of Vero Beach asked us to consider buying their system in the hopes of reducing the cost of electricity for its residents.

“Since that time, we have worked with the City, state and federal regulators, the Orlando Utilities Commission, the Florida Municipal Power Agency, 19 cities and many other stakeholders to make this a reality.

“We are thrilled to reach the final step in a very long process, and we look forward to welcoming 35,000 new customers into the FPL family this fall.”

FPL expects the Vero Beach electric system purchase to produce long-term savings of more than $100m to its existing customers.

In 2017, a $185m agreement has been approved by the Vero Beach City Council allowing the City to exit its contractual obligations, pay off its existing debt and receive a cash payment in order to ensure that FPL’s existing customers also benefit.

The transaction is scheduled to be completed on 01 October 2018, following which City’s 35,000 customers, electric system assets and employees will officially become part of FPL’s system.

Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) commissioner Gary Clark said: “Vero Beach customers will see many benefits from this acquisition, including lower rates, access to energy efficiency programs, and increased service reliability.

“This Commission has always used the public interest as the measuring stick for its decisions, and today’s decision will have no adverse impact to existing FPL customers.”