JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company today asked the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for permission to expand power production capacity at its currently operating Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear power plants.
FPL first outlined this proposal last month at a PSC workshop on the state’s future energy needs, and today’s filing is the first step in seeking formal approval from state utility regulators.
“Additional nuclear generation will help us meet our customers’ growing demand for electric power while ensuring that we preserve and improve our environment,” said FPL President Armando Olivera. “Nuclear power is an important component of the state’s clean energy mix. We’ve been generating safe, reliable nuclear power for 35 years. This proposal can help supply additional affordable, new energy to Floridians without producing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists have determined contribute to climate change,” he added.
FPL today filed what is called a determination of need petition with the PSC, proposing the addition of approximately 400 megawatts of power capacity to its existing nuclear power plants in Florida, specifically Turkey Point in Miami-Dade County and St. Lucie in St. Lucie County. Subject to a number of factors, including timely regulatory approvals, this added capacity is expected to be in place by the end of 2012.
Aside from generating electricity without producing greenhouse gases, these additions will provide FPL’s expanding customer base with reliable and affordable energy.
FPL also plans to seek approval to build two new nuclear power units at its existing Turkey Point complex by 2020, a move that would add up to 3,000 megawatts of power to the Florida electric grid. It expects to initiate the approval process soon by filing a need determination request with the PSC.
FPL supports Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify fuels used by the state’s electric utilities, and it believes nuclear power can help achieve these goals. The company currently obtains most of its electricity from clean-burning natural gas and nuclear power, which produces no carbon dioxide emissions. FPL plans to satisfy future energy needs by building additional clean power capacity.
FPL also obtains part of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The company uses one-third of the state’s renewable energy capacity and is seeking additional renewable power sources. Moreover, FPL will soon open the state’s largest solar power facility in Sarasota County and is exploring construction of a wind power project near the coastline in St. Lucie County.
“Nuclear power helps to meet Governor Crist’s goals for reducing emissions and diversifying fuel sources,” Olivera said. “It also can help our customers by dampening any future sharp price swings in fossil fuel costs and by cutting our dependence on fuel brought in from other countries,” he noted.
Before FPL moves ahead with the uprate projects, it must obtain approvals from several state and federal agencies. In addition, they are subject to approval and oversight by the federal government’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The NRC has approved power uprates for more than 100 nuclear plants since the 1970s, and FPL has successfully carried out uprates at all four of its nuclear units in Florida in the 1980s and 1990s. More recently, an uprate was completed at New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuclear plant, a facility majority owned and operated by FPL’s sister company, FPL Energy.
For more information about FPL’s nuclear power program, visit fpl.com, highlight Electricity & Our Environment and click on Nuclear Power Serves You.
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 4.5 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.