Florida Cities Celebrate 22 Years of Power Supply Independence
ORLANDO, Fla., May 1, 2008 – Twenty-two years ago, Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) began serving the wholesale power needs of several Florida cities, enabling municipal utilities of all sizes to become owners—not just customers—of a large, efficient statewide power system.
Since beginning operation on May 1, 1986, this program, known as the All-Requirements Power Supply Project, has given Florida’s municipal electric utilities control over their wholesale power supply. This independence has also produced economies of scale, access to resources and strength in numbers.
The All-Requirements Project was originally founded to serve five cities with a peak demand of 325 megawatts, but its success attracted many new members. Today, the All-Requirements Project is a 1,600 megawatt system serving 15 cities throughout Florida, from the Panhandle to Key West. Those cities include Bushnell, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Leesburg, Newberry, Ocala, Starke and Vero Beach. Together, they are one of the 25 largest municipal utility systems in the United States.
“FMPA’s All-Requirements Project has for more than two decades played an active and important role in protecting the interests of municipal utilities and their customers statewide,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Roger Fontes.
More recently, the All-Requirements Project owners have developed a strategy that meets the needs of their growing communities while continuing to be good stewards of the environment. FMPA is developing a balanced mix of power resources that includes both proven, reliable technologies, like generators fueled by clean-burning natural gas, as well as innovative renewable energy technologies.
Natural gas is the largest component of FMPA’s existing fleet of generation. Natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, reduces overall emission levels and helps the environment remain clean and healthy. Coal-fired generation only accounts for 20% of FMPA’s total portfolio, whereas nearly 50% of the United States’ electricity is generated from coal.
FMPA’s newest power resources meet the challenges of providing reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity. Treasure Coast Energy Center, a 300 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant located in St. Lucie County, Fla., is an essential part of the Agency’s plan to modernize its fleet to ensure fuel is used as efficiently as possible. When it begins operation in mid-May, the new plant will generate power 40% more efficiently than the generation it will replace. This means the plant will use less fuel, create fewer emissions per kilowatt hour and generate more power than generation it replaces.
In addition, FMPA began a rigorous permitting and licensing process in April to expand the Cane Island Power Park in Osceola County, Fla., by constructing a new, high-efficiency electrical generator that will run on clean-burning natural gas. The new generator, which will use a technology similar to Treasure Coast Energy Center, is needed to fulfill customers’ growing electricity needs.
FMPA members currently receive power from two renewable power sources: a cogeneration plant fueled by a sugar byproduct and a plant supplemented by landfill gas. FMPA is actively seeking to increase the role that renewable resources play in the power mix. For example, FMPA issued a request in December seeking solar photovoltaic equipment or a contract to purchase power generated with solar technology. FMPA also issued a request in July seeking demand-side management services that result in permanent reductions of electric energy usage through improvements in efficiency or shifting electricity demand to off-peak periods.
“Energy efficiency and renewable energy have an important role in meeting our members’ future energy needs,” said Fontes. “FMPA is developing a balanced mix of power resources to provide reliable electricity at an affordable cost in an environmentally responsible manner.”
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Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 30 municipal electric utilities. FMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities. The members of FMPA serve approximately 2 million Floridians. FMPA’s members include Alachua, Bartow, Blountstown, Bushnell, Chattahoochee, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Homestead, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Lakeland, Leesburg, Moore Haven, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, Newberry, Ocala, Orlando, Quincy, St. Cloud, Starke, Vero Beach, Wauchula and Williston. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.fmpa.com.