Gov. Bush Approves New Power Plant to Serve Florida’s Public Power Customers

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 11, 2001 -Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida cabinet unanimously approved the construction and operation of a new state-of-the-art, high-efficiency power plant that will provide electricity to city-owned electric utilities in Florida.

The new unit will be built at Orlando Utilities Commission’s (OUC) Stanton Energy Center and is expected to begin commercial operation in fall 2003. The project is a joint development of OUC, Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA)1 and Southern Company-Florida LLC.

The plan that received final approval today calls for construction of a 633 megawatt, natural gas-fired unit at an existing power plant site approximately 12 miles southeast of Orlando. OUC will own 28% of the unit. FMPA, which is a wholesale power provider to 13 municipal electric utilities, will own 3.5%. KUA will own 3.5%, and the remaining 65% will be owned by Southern. OUC, KUA and FMPA will purchase all of the capacity owned by Southern for a minimum of 10 years. The purchased capacity will be allocated 80% to OUC, 10% to KUA and 10% to FMPA. Options in the contract could extend the purchases for an additional 20 years.

“The partnership we created with this project will help us meet the future electricity needs of utility customers in a number of municipalities throughout Florida at the lowest possible cost,” said FMPA’s General Manager and CEO Roger Fontes.

The project received a Certificate of Need from the Florida Public Service Commission on May 14, 2001. A state administrative law judge recommended the project for certification of construction and operation following an environmental hearing in Orlando on July 23, 2001. The consent today from Florida’s governor and cabinet is the final authorization needed under the state’s power plant siting rules to begin construction.

The new natural gas-fired generators will feature combined-cycle technology that minimizes emissions and generates electricity 30% more efficiently than earlier technology. OUC, FMPA and KUA are partners in two coal-fired generating units at the Stanton site with a total generating capacity of 930 megawatts. These units are among the most environmentally sound coal-burning operations in the nation, according to federal monitoring agencies.

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