FMPA Celebrates 25 Powerful Years
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 24, 2003 – Twenty-five years ago today, the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) held its first official meeting on Feb. 24, 1978. At that time, there was no Agency staff, no office, no power generation projects, no revenues and no assets, but the idea was for FMPA to coordinate the wholesale needs of its members in order to create economies of scale in power generation and related services.
A quarter century later, FMPA has grown to supply more than 40 percent of its members’ total wholesale power needs. Today, FMPA has a full-time staff of more than 50, a 25,000-square-foot headquarters in Orlando, five power generation projects, a pooled financing fund, approximately 20 member service initiatives, annual revenues of $370 million and assets of $1 billion.
FMPA has had its share of success worth celebrating, including:
- Diversified Power Resources: FMPA has purchased ownership interests in 12 operating power plants, including one nuclear unit, two coal units, seven natural gas-fired units, and two oil units. FMPA also has several contract power purchases. The variety of resources available though FMPA has enabled its members to diversify their generation resources, so a utility can receive power from several power plants rather than be dependent on the operation and cost of fewer plants.
- Reduced Power Costs: FMPA’s largest generation project, known as the All-Requirements Project, has successfully reduced power costs beyond the most optimistic expectations. When the project was formed in 1986, the five original members expected to save approximately one percent per year in wholesale power costs. As it turned out, they saved an average of 15 percent or more, compared to what they would have paid their previous power supplier. Over the years, participants’ savings have amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars and the project has grown to include 15 cities that collectively form the second largest municipal electric system in Florida.
- Championed Open Access Transmission: FMPA has been active in regulatory forums as a champion for new rules requiring utilities to provide open access to the nation’s interstate transmission network. FMPA filed and won a precedent-setting case at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking a type of transmission service that transmission owners used themselves but would not offer to others. The ruling in FMPA’s case and subsequent FERC orders seek to ensure that wholesale buyers and sellers can reach each other without suffering anticompetitive and discriminatory practices imposed by transmission owners.
Above all, FMPA’s greatest accomplishment has been its role as a catalyst to bring municipal electric utilities together to work on areas of common concern. Working together has given FMPA’s members a stronger, unified voice. It has enabled them to pool their collective physical, financial and intellectual resources to enhance competitiveness. And it has fostered a “one for all and all for one” spirit, as the utilities unite in their commitment to serve their communities.
Today, as much as ever, the benefits of a community-owned power company are important for electric consumers. Municipal electric utilities provide their communities with local service reliability, not-for-profit operations, local decision-making and the personal touch only a hometown utility can offer.
In the same spirit, Florida’s municipal electric utilities created FMPA to provide reliable, low-cost wholesale power and related services. For 25 years, Florida’s utilities have worked together for the mutual benefit of their communities. This blending of community power and statewide strength enables municipal electric utilities to provide the personal attention of a local utility backed by the resources of a statewide organization. Ultimately, this combination serves the highest goal of making their communities better places to live and work.