New Power Plant Begins Serving Electric Customers
New facility among the cleanest, most efficient in Florida
ORLANDO, Fla., July 12, 2011 – A new high-efficiency power plant in Osceola County, Fla., began serving electric customers today.
The natural gas-fueled generating unit, known as Cane Island Unit 4, generates 300 megawatts, enough electricity to serve approximately 60,000 homes. Electricity from the facility will serve 14 cities throughout the state, 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 and Starke.
“Our customers want electricity that is reliable, affordable and clean, and that’s exactly what Cane Island Unit 4 does best,” said Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) General Manager and CEO Nicholas Guarriello.
Cane Island Unit 4 is located at the Cane Island Power Park, a 1,000-acre power generation facility in northwest Osceola County. Cane Island Unit 4 is wholly owned by FMPA and will be operated under contract by Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA).
“Not only are we producing affordable, low-cost electricity for our customers, we’re providing long-term jobs for the area,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh.
Construction completed on time and on budget
The authority to construct Unit 4 was granted to FMPA by several state, federal and local agencies that must review a new electrical power plant, as part of a multi-step approval process required by law. Construction of the $479 million project began in March 2009 and lasted approximately two years. The project was completed on time and on budget.
FMPA is modernizing its fleet of power plants
Featuring highly efficient combined cycle technology and advanced environmental controls, Cane Island Unit 4 is among the cleanest, most efficient power plants in Florida. The new unit is part of FMPA’s initiative to modernize its fleet of generators for enhanced efficiency.
“In the past five years alone, we’ve made updates to our fleet of power plants that allow us to generate each megawatt of electricity with nearly 9% less fuel,” said Guarriello. “Saving fuel saves money and resources, which is good for our customers and the environment.”
Project gives back to local community
Construction of Cane Island Unit 4 provided significant contributions to the community. Over the two-year construction period, the project created more than 600 temporary construction positions with wages totaling more than $41 million. Local spending totaled more than $20 million.
The project also gave back to the community through charitable donations and volunteerism. Fourteen businesses involved in constructing Cane Island Unit 4 provided an extreme makeover-style rebuild for the Central Florida Community BreadBasket’s food distribution facility and community center. The initiative, led by construction contractor Zachry Industrial Incorporated, allowed the Intercession City-based food bank to handle increased needs for food assistance and expand its youth and senior outreach programs.
FMPA, KUA and Zachry also donated an additional $9,000 to the BreadBasket to assist with food distribution during the holiday seasons.
Contractors for the project participated in a variety of other charitable activities, including food drives, school supply drives, adopt-a-highway and other fundraising and volunteering activities.
Guarriello said, “Being a good neighbor has been an essential part of the Cane Island Unit 4 project from start to finish.”
Generator dedicated in memory of former KUA chairwoman
FMPA and KUA named the new generating unit in honor of former KUA chairwoman Nancy Gemskie, who passed away July 1, 2011. The new generator will officially be known as the Nancy F. Gemskie Combustion Turbine 4. Gemskie served on KUA’s Board of Directors for 10 years, and her decade of service was highlighted by notable contributions to KUA, FMPA, the Florida Municipal Electric Association and the American Public Power Association.
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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 two million Floridians.