Company says fuel diversity, reliability, increased demand for power are central to request
JUNO BEACH, Fla. --- Florida Power & Light Company is presenting its case to build an advanced clean coal technology power plant this week in a need hearing before the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). FPL is requesting the regulatory body grant a determination of need taking into account the importance of maintaining fuel diversity and a reliable electric supply. FPL says the FPL Glades Power Park is the best, most cost effective way to meet the growing energy needs of customers at a reasonable cost and in an environmentally responsible way.
“We firmly believe this plant is the best solution FPL can pursue to maintain fuel diversity, ensure system reliability and mitigate price volatility for our customers,” said Armando Olivera, president of FPL.
The Public Service Commission has previously identified the need for Florida utilities to maintain a diverse fuel supply to protect consumers against potential supply interruptions or price volatility in any one fuel source by maintaining a balanced portfolio of the fuels needed to generate electricity. Presently, more than half of FPL’s electricity is generated from natural gas. The FPL Glades Power Park is needed to help mitigate the risk to fuel supplies that could be disrupted, for example, by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. This disruption could jeopardize operations at natural gas-fired plants and impact FPL’s ability to produce an adequate supply of electricity for Florida. If the FPL Glades Power Park is not built, the company will be more than 70 percent dependent on natural gas by 2016.
In addition, the new power plant is needed to meet increased demand for electricity fueled by population growth and increased usage. FPL states the average residential customer uses about 30 percent more electricity today than just 20 years ago.
During the need hearing being held in Tallahassee this week, the company is presenting evidence to the PSC that the FPL Glades Power Park is not only needed, but that it is expected to be one of the cleanest coal power plants in the nation with the highest level of efficiency and the lowest CO2 emission rates. FPL says the plant will set a standard of excellence for emission controls as it will be 23 percent more efficient than the average, existing U.S. coal power plant and produce significantly lower emissions. FPL Glades Power Park’s emissions will be well below the strict standards set by state and federal agencies whose missions are to protect health, welfare and the environment.
Growth in demand for electricity is such that even though FPL’s aggressive energy conservation program is No. 1 in the nation and has resulted in postponing the need for 11 power plants over more than two decades, it is not enough to defer the need for additional generation. The company also deploys renewable resources but these are not available in the scale or steady supply needed to meet the growing demand for electricity twenty-four hours a day.
“Despite having some of the most successful conservation and energy management programs in the country, it is not enough to meet all our customers’ needs. We must, from time to time, add base load capacity to the electric system serving our 4.4 million customers,” Olivera said.
Finally, FPL needs to build the FPL Glades Power Park to maintain system reliability for customers and to preserve a balanced, fuel diverse generation portfolio while maintaining an adequate level of generation reserve margin which is set at 20 percent.
The PSC is expected to issue a final order on the need for the FPL Glades Power Park in June 2007. Full information about the proposed project can be found at www.FPL.com/gladespower.
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of nearly $16 billion and a growing presence in 26 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's competitive energy subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www.FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com.