FMPA Seeks Public Service Commission Approval of Cane Island Power Park Expansion
ORLANDO, Fla., May 7, 2008 – Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), a co-owner of the Cane Island Power Park in Osceola County, is asking the Florida Public Service Commission for approval to add a new power generator, known as Cane Island Unit 4.
The filing made today seeks a determination of need for a natural gas-fueled generating unit with a projected in-service date of 2011. The proposed combined cycle unit would be capable of generating 300 megawatts, enough electricity to serve approximately 60,000 homes in Florida. Information was submitted to demonstrate the need for the proposed electrical power plant in the proposed time frame as the most cost-effective alternative available.
“Additional electrical generation is needed to provide adequate electrical power in our communities, and we are confident the proposed expansion of the Cane Island Power Park is the best option for our customers and the environment,” said Roger Fontes, General Manager and CEO of FMPA.
Determination of Need
The Public Service Commission is one of several state, federal and local agencies that must review a new electrical power plant during a multi-step approval process required by Florida law. The Commission’s role is to determine whether the proposed plant is needed to reliably meet customers’ needs and whether it is the most cost-effective option. The Commission also considers conservation measures reasonably available that might mitigate the need for the plant and looks at whether renewable energy sources and technologies are utilized to the extent reasonably available.
The proposed Cane Island Unit 4 began the state’s licensing process on April 1 by filing a site certification application at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP will coordinate other agencies’ review of the proposed plant, including the environmental review process. The entire licensing and permitting process is expected to take more than a year.
Growing Power Needs
FMPA’s long-term power supply plan indicates that additional generating capacity must be added by 2011 to ensure the supply of electricity will be adequate to meet the demand of the cities it serves. FMPA provides all the wholesale electric power needs of 15 cities, including the Central Florida communities of Kissimmee, Leesburg, Ocala and Bushnell, as well as Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Town of Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Lake Worth, Newberry, Starke and Vero Beach.
FMPA member communities’ power needs are growing rapidly. Load forecasts project FMPA customers’ demand for power will increase more than 38% in the next 20 years. In addition, FMPA members have received power under several power purchase contracts that have recently expired or are nearing the end of their term. Together, these factors mean that by summer 2011 new generating capacity will be necessary to reliably serve FMPA’s member cities.
Evaluating the Alternatives
FMPA conducted a thorough analysis of alternatives to meet consumers’ projected need for electricity, and Cane Island Unit 4 was determined to be the most cost-effective alternative.
FMPA requested competitive bids for power purchase options, as well as renewable and solar energy resources and demand-side management programs. Evaluations showed that the proposed Cane Island Unit 4 is the most cost-effective option. In addition to Cane Island Unit 4, FMPA is pursuing the potential purchase of additional renewable capacity, as well as potential load control measures. Renewable power resources and conservation are important elements of FMPA’s future power supply plans, but they do not eliminate FMPA’s need for the proposed Cane Island Unit 4.
The Public Service Commission will review FMPA’s analysis.
Carbon Reduction Activities
The issue of global climate change was considered in FMPA’s evaluations. Although a specific regulatory framework has not yet been developed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Florida, FMPA is committed to being part of a statewide effort to responsibly reduce emissions.
Cane Island Unit 4 will be fueled by clean-burning natural gas, and it will be one of the cleanest and most efficient plants in Florida. It is expected to displace generation from less efficient units, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and positioning FMPA to achieve near-term greenhouse gas reduction goals proposed by the governor.
The potential for future carbon regulations was considered in the economic analysis of FMPA’s power alternatives. These analyses demonstrate that Cane Island Unit 4 is the most cost-effective alternative, even in a carbon-regulated environment.
“Our detailed evaluations give us confidence Cane Island Unit 4 is the best choice to meet our customers’ power needs in an environmentally responsible way,” said Fontes. “We look forward to sharing our analysis with state authorities and the public as we continue with the licensing process.”
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 are 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.