FMPA Dedicated $30 Million Power Plant in Key West
ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 25, 2006 – The Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) hosted a dedication ceremony Friday, Sept. 22, 2006, for a $30 million, high-efficiency electric generating unit in Key West, Fla., that serves municipal utility customers in the lower Keys and other Florida cities.
FMPA completed construction in June on the 47 MW low sulfur oil-fired combustion turbine located at the Keys Energy Services’ (KEYS) Stock Island Generating Facility. The new power plant is owned by FMPA and operated by KEYS, the municipal electric utility serving Key West and the lower Florida Keys.
“This efficient, new peaking resource is an important part of FMPA’s statewide power supply mix,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Roger Fontes. “This unit represents a significant part of FMPA’s plan to provide reliable, affordable power to the lower Keys and to FMPA’s rapidly growing member communities.”
FMPA is a wholesale power agency owned by municipal electric utilities. FMPA supplies all the power needs of 15 communities including the lower Florida Keys, Bushnell, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Leesburg, Newberry, Ocala, Starke and Vero Beach.
The project met or surpassed all goals for schedule, cost, quality and safety. The unit’s operational efficiency exceeds the manufacturer’s performance guarantee, and the entire project was completed under the $30.4 million budget.
The new plant enhances electric reliability for all of FMPA’s customers, especially residents of the lower Keys, including Key West, Stock Island and Big Pine Key.
Lynne Tejeda, KEYS General Manager and CEO, said, “This new unit is a tremendous asset in our area in providing peak demand power generation as well as back up power especially after a hurricane.”
Maintaining reliable electric service is a special challenge in Key West, which is connected to the mainland by a 120-mile high voltage transmission line. The tie-line gives KEYS access to low-cost power from FMPA’s statewide power resources, but it can be vulnerable to damage from severe weather.
When KEYS began purchasing all of its wholesale power from FMPA in 1998, FMPA pledged to maintain on-island generation equivalent to 60% of KEYS customers’ electrical demand. Locating FMPA generation within KEYS’ service territory enables the utility to continue serving most of its customers’ electricity needs if the tie-line is out of service, even for a prolonged period.
The new unit will also support the reliability of Florida’s statewide transmission grid. The unit provides power during times of peak demand, and it can do so as much as 20% more efficiently than some of the units that currently provide a peaking function. This plant also can be started quickly, so it can be called on when power is urgently needed over the entire statewide transmission system.
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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 1.9 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.