Four Florida Utilities Seek Competitive Power Supply Proposals
Dec. 1, 2005 – To meet projected electricity needs in Florida after 2010, four community-owned electric utilities issued a request for proposals today seeking sources of electrical power as a potential alternative to building the North Florida Power Project, a proposed coal power plant.
The utilities are soliciting power purchase proposals as a potential alternative to building a proposed coal project in Taylor County, Fla. Requesting proposals to purchase power, as an alternative to building a new power plant, is part of the normal process prescribed by Florida’s Power Plant Siting Act to determine the most economical option for providing the needed electricity. Receiving competitive bids from other power generators will enable the utilities to assess whether building the plant is the best option for consumers, or if another power source could provide the needed electricity more economically than the proposed plant.
The utilities involved in the joint request for proposals include Florida Municipal Power Agency, a wholesale power supplier to 15 city-owned electric utilities throughout Florida; JEA, a retail electricity supplier in Jacksonville that provides service in all of Duval County and portions of Clay and St. Johns counties; the city of Tallahassee; and Reedy Creek Improvement District, which serves parts of Orange and Osceola counties near Orlando.
“We believe the North Florida Power Project is our best option to provide reliable power at an affordable price in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Mike Lawson, project manager for the proposed plant, “but if we receive a power proposal that more effectively meets our needs, we will accept that proposal.”
The utilities are seeking proposals that would help meet their need for up to 750 megawatts of power beginning June 1, 2012, and continuing for at least 10 years. Bids will be compared on the basis of overall power cost, as well as non-cost factors that impact consumers, including risk, reliability and environmental impact.
Protecting customers from the impact of high, volatile natural gas prices is a major objective of the proposed plant, so the utilities have expressed a preference for proposals that diversify the utilities’ fuel sources or contractually mitigate fuel price risk. Potential bidders should refer to the request for proposals for a specific listing of evaluation criteria. The request for proposals is posted online at http://externalapps.jea.com/eprocurement/bid_info.asp.
Once the proposals have been evaluated, the utilities may contract jointly or separately with the selected bidder. If the proposals do not prove to be more favorable, the utilities will move forward with developing the proposed plant.
The request for proposals process is expected to take about five months. A mandatory pre-bid conference will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 20, 2005. The deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 28, 2006, and the utilities are tentatively scheduled to announce their selection on May 2, 2006, although the schedule is subject to change.