Proposed natural gas pipeline to improve service reliability
 

Proposed natural gas pipeline to improve service reliability

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As part of the Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center modernization initiative, FPL is modifying the project’s certification in order to construct a new fuel pipeline to the site. This new pipeline will ensure that a reliable source of natural gas is available year-round to serve this highly efficient new energy center.

Recognized as a leader in reliability among Florida’s 55 electric utilities, FPL is constantly seeking ways to improve service while at the same time minimizing costs to customers. To keep fuel costs low and maintain industry-leading service levels, FPL is upgrading its infrastructure and developing 32 miles of natural gas pipeline to supply natural gas to its new Riviera Beach Clean Energy Center.

Over its 30-year operational lifespan, the new energy center will generate cleaner, more fuel-efficient power and produce hundreds of millions of dollars in net savings for customers over and above the cost of construction. It will reduce air emissions by more than 90 percent and use 33 percent less fuel per kilowatt of power generated while producing enough electricity to power 250,000 homes and businesses. Construction of the project is also currently generating a substantial economic impact to the local community through the creation of hundreds of jobs and by supporting many local businesses. In the plant’s first full year of operation, it will also mean more than $20 million in new tax revenue to local governments and school districts.

This upgrade can be made without increasing the overall approved budget for FPL’s Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center.

Construction on the pipeline will take approximately one year. Plans are to start construction in early 2013 and be completed in early 2014. 

Why is the Pipeline Needed?
To keep fuel costs as low as possible for its customers, FPL tries to operate its most efficient plants as much as possible. The existing two-way pipeline used to transport natural gas to Riviera Beach as well as oil from the Port of Palm Beach to FPL’s Martin Plant would cause periodic interruptions to the natural gas supply to the Riviera Beach Energy Center. A new natural gas pipeline will provide an uninterrupted supply of natural gas to the Riviera Beach Energy Center and eliminate these interruptions and allow FPL to operate its new energy center as efficiently and reliably as possible to benefit its customers.

The pipeline will be approximately 32 miles in length, starting near FPL’s Martin Plant located northwest of Indiantown, and terminating at the western end of FPL’s Riviera Beach pipeline located at the intersection of Florida’s Turnpike and State Road 710 in West Palm Beach.

The pipeline corridor will be located within an existing FPL 500-kV transmission line corridor, an existing railroad right of way, and the State Road 710 right of way and will run parallel with an existing pipeline in the area to minimize impacts to the environment and adjacent property owners. Each of these corridors or rights of way already have easements for similar existing underground gas and fuel oil pipelines.

Where will the Pipeline be Located?
The pipeline will start near FPL’s Martin Clean Energy Center located in northwest Indiantown. It terminates at the western end of FPL’s Riviera Beach pipeline located at the intersection of Florida’s Turnpike and State Road 710 in West Palm Beach.

The new and upgraded portions of the pipeline will meet or exceed all environmental and safety requirements. Pipelines exist almost everywhere throughout the United States. Safety is a cornerstone of our commitment to customers and employees and we have an excellent safety record when it comes to the operation of all of our facilities. Once in service, the pipeline would be inspected, maintained and upgraded by FPL to provide continued safe operation. The new and upgraded portions of the pipeline will meet or exceed all environmental and safety requirements. To learn more about FPL’s safety focus, visit www.FPL.com/pipelinesafety.