We have submitted plans for our planned Dania Beach Clean Energy Center to numerous county, state and federal government agencies for their review and analyses. Responses to typical questions follow below.
What is FPL planning in Dania Beach?
The proposed FPL Dania Beach Clean Energy Center is the next phase in our ongoing program to modernize FPL’s fleet of power-generating plants with new facilities powered by affordable, clean, U.S.-produced natural gas. It will replace the existing power plant that has operated on FPL property in Dania Beach, Broward County for nearly a quarter of a century. The new energy center will be one of the cleanest, most efficient of its kind in the world.
The planned facility will generate approximately 1,200 megawatts of energy fueled by clean, U.S.-produced natural gas – enough to provide power around-the-clock for approximately 250,000 homes. Compared to the continued operation of our current plant, the proposed new facility will:
- Produce $337 million in estimated net customer savings
- Cut primary air emissions by approximately 70 percent
- Reduce FPL’s overall use of natural gas system-wide
- Generate substantial local tax revenues and other economic benefits
Should our planned Dania Beach Clean Energy Center receive all needed permits and approvals, we anticipate operations to begin in 2022.
What economic benefits will the facility produce?
FPL’s estimated $888 million investment will generate substantial economic benefits for Broward County and Southeast Florida, including:
- Estimated $297 million in tax revenue for Broward County, the school district, Children’s Services Council and other taxing authorities after it begins operations
- $337 million in estimated net cost savings for customers over its operating life
- Approximately 300 good-paying jobs, on average, during construction – as many as 650 during peak work times – and 25 permanent skilled operating positions
- Additional indirect benefits through our purchase of goods and services from area businesses
See Economic Benefits to learn more.
Why locate the new energy center in Dania Beach?
FPL’s Dania Beach property is an ideal site for this modernization project. Our first power plant began operations there in 1927, and it has been the site of power generation ever since. The current facility began operating nearly a quarter-century ago, and the technology – some of it dating back to the 1950s – is aging. Key attributes of the site include:
- The planned new facility will use several existing energy systems on the site – that means no new offsite power transmission lines, no new natural gas pipeline and no new electric substations will be needed.
- This Broward County location is situated in the critical Southeast Florida area, where more power generation is needed to keep pace with increasing energy use due to the growing population and thriving economy in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
- The site will help generate estimated net cost savings of more than $350 million for FPL customers throughout the state and improve service reliability, especially for those in Southeast Florida.
What impact will the proposed energy center have on the environment?
FPL is committed to environmental excellence in everything we do. Fueled by U.S.-produced natural gas, our planned Dania Beach Clean Energy Center will be one of the cleanest, most efficient of its kind in the world. Compared with the continued opeartion of the existing power plant on the property, our new facility will cut primary air emissions by approximately 70 percent, generate more energy and reduce FPL’s overall use of natural gas system-wide.
We plan to use several key components of the existing energy systems on the property – no new offsite power transmission lines, no new electric substations and no new natural gas pipeline will be required. Also, FPL’s existing power plant in Dania Beach is an important haven for manatees during cold weather, and our proposed new facility will preserve this important warm-water refuge.
The planned facility is part of FPL’s ongoing investments in high-efficiency power generation facilities fueled by U.S.- produced natural gas. Since 2001, these investments have prevented more than 108 million tons of carbon emissions, enabled us to shut down coal-burning power plants and reduce our use of foreign oil by 99 percent – from more than 40 million barrels per year to less than 1 million.
See Protecting the Environment to learn more.
Why not use solar energy instead of building another natural gas-powered facility?
FPL is by far the largest producer of solar power in Florida. We tripled our solar generation in 2016, and we’ve added more than 2.5 million additional solar panels to our fleet in 2017 as part of our plan for operating eight more FPL universal solar plants by early 2018.
While smart investments in cost-effective solar power remain a crucial part of FPL’s energy strategy, the fact remains solar power cannot produce electricity 24 hours a day – including some times when customers’ electricity use is at its peak, such as cold winter nights or stormy, hot summer days. That requires us to maintain a balanced mix of resources – including power generation facilities that operate 24 hours a day – to meet the round-the-clock electricity needs of our customers.
More power generation is needed in the critical Southeast Florida area to keep pace with increasing energy use in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and we continue to explore more potential solar sites. However, the opportunity to produce the equivalent amount of energy (1,200 megawatts) from solar is minimal due to the vast amount of property needed – as many as 8,000 contiguous acres of property, which is not available in Broward County and, if it were available, would be prohibitively expensive. Also, our planned natural gas-fueled facility is an estimated $1.2 billion less expensive than the cost of generating an equivalent amount of energy from solar and batteries in Southeast Florida.
How will the project affect customer bills?
FPL investments in high-efficiency natural gas power plants have saved customers more than $8.6 billion in fuel costs since 2001. Our estimated $888 million investment in modernizing this location will be a huge win for our customers. Compared with the current plant, it will result in projected net savings of more than $350 million for FPL customers while producing additional economic and environmental benefits for Broward County and all of Florida.
The FPL Dania Beach Clean Energy Center is needed to replace the existing power plant, which uses less-efficient technology dating as far back as the 1950s. Later this year (2017), FPL will submit a detailed analysis of the estimated cost of the proposed facility and its projected impact on customer bills to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for its review as part of the “need determination” process. As with the other power plant modernizations FPL has implemented since 2009, customers would not begin to pay any of the construction costs until the new facility actually enters service, which is anticipated in 2022 (subject to PSC approval).
What is the project schedule?
Our proposed clean energy center is undergoing extensive analyses by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and numerous other county, state and federal government agencies, where experts are thoroughly evaluating our plans to ensure the planned facility complies with all regulatory requirements.
The review and permitting process is expected to last 14-16 months. Should the new clean energy center receive all needed approvals, we would begin to dismantle the current plant in late 2018, followed by construction of the new facility. Commercial operations are expected to begin in 2022.
How do I apply for a job – what types of positions will be available?
FPL will retain the services of a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to manage the project. We anticipate the contractor will begin hiring workers sometime in 2019. Construction positions will include laborers as well as other jobs requiring specialized skills and qualifications, such as pipe fitters, electricians, millwrights and other construction trades.
FPL will encourage the EPC contractor to use local labor and other resources when possible and cost effective, and we will include additional information about job opportunities on our website when it becomes available. The new facility will also require approximately 25 skilled positions for plant operations. Additional information about those positions will be posted on our website before the facility begins operations, which is currently expected in 2022.
Will local businesses benefit from the project?
In addition to creating new construction jobs, the FPL Dania Beach Clean Energy Center will purchase goods and services from area businesses, such as construction subcontractors, suppliers and service providers. FPL will retain the services of a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to manage the project, including subcontracting with qualified area businesses before and during construction. We will include additional information on our website about needed business services when it becomes available.
In addition to companies that could work directly with the EPC contractor, other area businesses – including restaurants, convenience stores, lodging, service stations, suppliers and others – will benefit as the financial impact of the construction project ripples through the local economy.