At Florida Power & Light Company, we’ve reduced our use of oil to produce electricity by 98 percent – from more than 40 million barrels a year in 2001 to less than 1 million in 2012 – through investments in natural gas power. Replacing foreign oil with domestically produced natural gas makes good sense, keeping billions of dollars a year at home.
Investments in fuel-efficient, natural gas-fired energy centers such as the West County Energy Center, one of the largest and cleanest plants of its kind in the U.S., provide clean, reliable power and help keep FPL’s typical residential bills the lowest in the state.
Today, FPL continues to invest in fuel-efficient technologies. Currently, the company is working to modernize its 1960s-era Cape Canaveral, Riviera Beach, and Port Everglades sites, replacing old oil-burning plants with state-of-the-art, natural gas-fired Next Generation Clean Energy Centers that will employ efficient combined-cycle technology to generate electricity. These advanced power plants will be 33 percent more fuel-efficient and 90 percent cleaner than the facilities they replace, effectively paying for themselves over their operational lifetimes with more than $1 billion in net customer savings.
The Southeast Pipeline Project
To fuel new and existing natural gas power plants as the electricity needs of Florida’s residents and businesses grow in the near future, the state will need increased additional natural gas capacity. Florida uses more natural gas than any U.S. state other than Texas, with about 60 percent of the power Floridians use generated by natural gas power plants. However, unlike Texas and many other states, Florida has only minimal natural gas production, no storage capabilities, and the two major natural gas pipelines serving the peninsula are nearing full capacity. To ensure a reliable, U.S.-produced fuel supply for the future, Florida needs a new, third major natural gas pipeline.
A new pipeline will meet Florida’s growing need for additional natural gas. It will also improve the reliability of the state’s critical natural gas transportation system and expand the state’s access to onshore domestic sources of natural gas, helping reduce exposure to the Gulf of Mexico and supply interruptions caused by tropical weather.
To help ensure a reliable, diverse supply of domestic natural gas as the needs of Floridians grow, FPL has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to identify the best option or options for new transportation infrastructure to bring more domestically sourced natural gas to Florida by 2017. The RFP outlines a system with two distinct pipelines:
- The “Florida Interstate Connection” and “Central Florida Hub” comprise the upstream pipeline project, which will originate at an existing hub in western Alabama, run east and then south, ending at a new hub to be built in Central Florida that will allow the new pipeline to interconnect with Florida’s existing pipeline systems.
- The “Florida Southeast Connection” is the downstream pipeline project, which will originate at the new Central Florida Hub and connect with FPL’s system in Martin County, Fla.