FMPA Members Celebrate 30 Years Together
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 25, 2008 – Thirty years ago, the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) held its first official meeting. At that time, there were no employees and no office, nothing but the idea that Florida’s municipal electric utilities should work together to coordinate the wholesale electricity needs of cities in order to create economies of scale in power generation and related services.
Three decades later, FMPA has grown to supply nearly 50 percent of its members’ total wholesale power needs. Today, FMPA has a full-time staff of more than 70, a 25,000-square-foot headquarters in Orlando, five power generation projects, a pooled financing fund, approximately two dozen member service initiatives, annual revenues of $705 million and assets of $1.5 billion.
An indomitable one-for-all-and-all-for-one spirit, evidenced during the defining moments in FMPA’s history, best describes the organization that 30 community-owned electric utilities have created.
- • Birth of Joint Action: Three decades ago, in the face of mounting competitive pressure, municipal electric utilities began forming regional “joint action agencies” that allowed individual utilities to participant collectively in power pools, to buy wholesale power in a group and to jointly finance generating plants. In the summer of 1977, an organizational committee was formed to establish the structure of a joint action agency in Florida. Less than a year later, FMPA held its initial meeting on Feb. 24, 1978. Twenty-three cities attended.
- • First Joint Action Project: Before FMPA was formed, a group of 20 Florida cities came together and asked for ownership interests in an investor-owned utility’s nuclear units. The ownership request was denied, so in 1974, the cities intervened in the plant’s license application. After eight years of legal action, the cities reached a comprehensive settlement to participate in the unit, and the first power supply project came to fruition.
- Establishing All-Requirements: With little competition among wholesale power suppliers, municipal utilities began to look for wholesale power supply alternatives. They turned to FMPA to become an all-requirements power supplier for member cities that purchased all their wholesale power needs from private power companies. Bushnell, one of the smallest municipal electric utilities in Florida, was the first to sign with FMPA, followed by Green Cove Springs, Jacksonville Beach, Leesburg and Ocala. The project began serving all the power needs for those five members May 1, 1986. All-Requirements has grown into FMPA’s largest power supply project serving 15 members today.
- Gaining Equal Transmission Access: In 1989, FMPA’s members wanted to purchase the same type of electric transmission service that investor-owned utilities used themselves. FMPA was able to contract for this service from one private power company, but another utility refused, even though they were required to do so by agreement with the Justice Department and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. FMPA negotiated with the company for two years but to no avail. In 1991, with no other satisfactory option available, FMPA filed a lawsuit for breach of contract and antitrust violations. As a result, FMPA obtained equal access to transmission service and significantly expanded All-Requirements to include other cities.
- Project Taker to Project Maker: Within a few short years, FMPA’s All-Requirements Project grew into one of the largest municipal utilities in Florida and the United States. All-Requirements cities needed to modernize their fleet of generation plants, while meeting their customers’ growing power needs in an economical and environmentally friendly manner. To meet this challenge, the Agency developed in 2004 a comprehensive, long-term power supply plan. This plan showed significant growth in electricity demand over the next 20 years. Now that All-Requirements has grown, it had capacity needs that were large enough to justify building its own units and urgent enough that FMPA could not wait to be invited to participate in another utility’s plant. FMPA’s long-term plan recommended two new generation projects: a simple cycle combustion turbine to begin operating in 2006 and a combined cycle unit to begin operating in 2008. The simple cycle combustion turbine was successfully completed in June 2006, and the combined cycle unit is scheduled to begin commercial operation in late spring 2008.
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.
In the same spirit, Florida’s municipal electric utilities created FMPA to provide reliable, low-cost wholesale power and related services. For 30 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 service of a local utility backed by the resources of a statewide organization. Ultimately, this combination serves the highest goal of making the communities better places to live and work.
To view “Sum of Our Efforts,” a booklet that tells FMPA’s history through the stories of the Agency’s defining moments, click here. (in PDF format, 1.24MB)
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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.