JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) said today that it is deeply disappointed in the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) ruling that failed to recognize the utility’s need to build an advanced clean coal technology power plant to meet customers’ future energy demands.
For several years, FPL has received strong encouragement through the Florida Energy Plan, the Florida legislature and the PSC to diversify its fuel mix. Even during today’s deliberations, each commissioner discussed the need for increased fuel diversity in Florida. The company continues to believe that a clean coal plant is the only viable generation option for the near-term to achieve that objective. The company also said that if it has to build natural gas-fired plants in lieu of the clean coal plant, that by 2016 it will be 70 percent dependent on this fuel source, exposing customers to risks in reliability, and ultimately higher prices.
“In light of the PSC’s action today, FPL’s only option for materially addressing near-term demand growth is to build more natural gas-fired plants, making us more dependent than ever on a fuel that already is 50 percent of our fuel mix today. We believe that this decision by the PSC increases our customers’ exposure to what most experts believe will be higher natural gas prices and increased volatility in those prices. In fact, since we filed our testimony in February for this need determination, the price of natural gas has gone up by more than 13%. This suggests electricity prices will be higher in the future than if the coal plant were approved. It also increases the likelihood of electricity disruptions in the event that hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico disrupt the natural gas supply to Florida, as was the case with Katrina and Wilma in 2005,” said Armando Olivera, president of FPL.
The FPL Glades Power Park would provide FPL customers greater reliability and price stability. Incorporating state-of-the-art pollution control equipment, this advanced clean coal technology plant would be one of the cleanest coal plants in the nation while helping to keep customers’ bills down and furthering our country’s energy independence.
In its 10-year plan submitted to the PSC in April, FPL noted that it will meet approximately 26 percent of customers’ projected power needs with energy conservation and energy management programs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, FPL leads the nation in energy conservation, delivering 13 percent of the U.S. utility industry’s efforts while serving only three percent of the country’s electricity customers.
“Despite our energy management and conservation programs, we need to build power plants to meet future customer growth and energy requirements,” said Olivera.
“We obviously misread the Commission’s intention for fuel diversity and are hopeful that going forward they will provide us with clear and unwavering direction as to what they want us to do,” he added.
For more information on the FPL Glades Power Park visit 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.