Governor and Cabinet Approve FMPA’s Power Plant for Construction
ORLANDO, Fla., May 16, 2006 – Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet, sitting as the Power Plant Siting Board, unanimously approved Florida Municipal Power Agency’s (FMPA) proposal to construct a natural gas-fired power plant in St. Lucie County, Fla., near the city of Fort Pierce.
“This power plant is essential to supply the electric needs of our customers, so we appreciate the Siting Board’s approval and the approvals we received at the state and local levels,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Roger Fontes. “Through the rigorous one-year approval process, we showed that this plant best serves the public’s interest by being the most cost-effective option with minimal environmental impact.”
FMPA is a wholesale power agency owned by municipal electric utilities in Florida. Power from the proposed facility, known as the Treasure Coast Energy Center, will serve electric customers in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Lake Worth and Clewiston, along with the cities of Bushnell, Fort Meade, Green Cove Springs, Town of Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Leesburg, Newberry, Ocala and Starke.
FMPA will build a high-efficiency, natural gas-fired unit that will generate 300 Megawatts, enough electricity to serve approximately 60,000 homes in Florida. This power plant, with its advanced environmental control technologies, will be one of the lowest emission plants in Florida and one of the highest efficiency plants in the state.
The 69-acre Treasure Coast Energy Center site is located in the Midway Industrial Park, southwest of Fort Pierce, along Glades Cut-Off Road. This industrial area was previously approved for a power plant project. The FMPA site has also been identified for up to three similar units in the future, subject to issuance of required approvals.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall, creating up to 300 construction jobs at the peak. Construction is expected to take two years. Unit 1 is scheduled to begin operation in 2008, at which time it will employ 16 full-time operators.
Treasure Coast Energy Center will be wholly owned by FMPA, but it will be operated under contract by Fort Pierce Utilities Authority. FMPA selected the plant’s location because it is near several FMPA cities that are experiencing increased demand for electricity. The proposed plant location is also well-positioned to avoid congestion on the state’s high-voltage electric transmission system.
“We believe Treasure Coast Energy Center is a positive addition to our community,” said Elie J. Boudreaux III, director of utilities for Fort Pierce Utilities Authority. “Treasure Coast will be the future of our power generation for Fort Pierce, and we will retire the King Plant in downtown Fort Pierce.”
Electricity from the new facility is needed to support the increasing electricity usage of communities in the Treasure Coast area and throughout Florida, to replace power purchase contracts that are due to expire and to displace the use of older, less efficient generation.
More information about Treasure Coast Energy Center is available on FMPA’s Web site at www.fmpa.com.
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Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 29 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 1.8 million Floridians. FMPA’s members include Alachua, Bartow, 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.