JUNO BEACH, Fla. --- Florida Power & Light Company wrapped-up its case today for an advanced clean coal technology power plant on the final day of a need determination hearing before the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) in Tallahassee. The company says the FPL Glades Power Park (FGPP) is the right choice to reliably meet its customers’ growing energy needs at a reasonable cost and in an environmentally responsible manner. The need determination hearing began April 16th.
As part of the need determination hearing, expert witnesses explained that the technology chosen for the proposed power plant is the best option available to maintain fuel diversity. Experts confirmed the proposed plant design is reliable, proven worldwide and will meet or exceed strict environmental standards because of its advanced design and state-of-the-art pollution control equipment. In addition, FGPP is being designed so that new protective technologies such as carbon capture can be added when they become commercially available.
FPL acknowledged that federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions is likely to be implemented in the near future. FPL Group confirmed its support of mandatory CO2 regulation to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and believes it is likely to be adopted in the near term.
“The company has evaluated the potential costs associated with various legislative proposals for CO2 and concluded that FGPP is the right choice today to meet Florida’s growing energy needs,” said Armando Olivera, president of FPL.
During the proceeding the PSC heard evidence that the proposed FPL Glades Power Park will use a technology called ultra-supercritical pulverized coal (USCPC); and that the plant is not only needed, but will be among the cleanest coal plants in the United States, with the highest level of efficiency and the lowest CO2 emission rates.
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. Approximately 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. Further, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has said it expects Florida’s statewide energy consumption to increase by nearly 30 percent over the next 10 years. FPL will use energy conservation programs to off-set about 26 percent of the expected growth in demand between 2006 and 2015.
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 power 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.
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.