New Power Plant in Fort Pierce Begins Commercial Operation
ORLANDO, Fla., June 2, 2008– The Florida Municipal Power Agency’s (FMPA) newest power plant, located in St. Lucie County, Fla., began serving electric customers Saturday, marking a new era for FMPA.
“This weekend we culminated more than four years of hard work and proudly began operation of our first wholly owned generating unit at a brand new power plant site,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Roger Fontes. “The successful completion of this project exemplifies our commitment to provide reliable, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly electricity to our customers.”
Treasure Coast Energy Center, a 300 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, will generate enough electricity to serve approximately 60,000 homes in the 15 cities served by FMPA’s All-Requirements Project. Members of the project include Bushnell, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Leesburg, Newberry, Ocala, Starke and Vero Beach.
The 69-acre Treasure Coast Energy Center site is located in the Midway Industrial Park, southwest of Fort Pierce, along Glades Cut-Off Road. FMPA selected the plant’s location because it is near several FMPA cities that are experiencing increased demand for electricity. The plant location is also well-positioned to avoid congestion on the state’s high-voltage electric transmission system.
The Power Plant Siting Board unanimously gave the project final approval on May 16, 2006. Construction of the $273 million project began in August 2006 and created approximately 300 construction jobs at the peak. The plant will employ 15 full-time employees. Treasure Coast Energy Center is wholly owned by FMPA’s All-Requirements participants, and it will be operated under contract by Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA).
Treasure Coast Energy Center incorporates advanced environmental control technologies, which makes the plant one of the lowest emission and highest efficiency plants in Florida. Clean-burning natural gas is the largest component of FMPA’s existing fleet of generation. Natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, reduces overall emission levels and helps the environment remain clean and healthy.
Modernizing Our Fleet of Generation
Like cars, some power plants use fuel more efficiently than others. And like cars, modernizing a fleet of power generating resources increases fuel efficiency. Treasure Coast Energy Center generates power 40% more efficiently than the generation it will replace, which includes older units at the H.D. King Plant located in Fort Pierce. This means the new plant uses less fuel, creates fewer emissions per kilowatt hour and generates more power than older, less efficient units.
With development of the new plant, FPUA retired its H.D. King Plant. The decommissioning ceremony of the plant was held May 29. Demolition is expected to begin in early June, and the project is expected to take approximately six months to complete.
“The H.D. King Plant has served Fort Pierce and FMPA’s member cities well over the years,” said FPUA Director of Utilities Bill Thiess. “We are looking forward to FPUA’s new role as operators of the Treasure Coast Energy Center.”
Treasure Coast Energy Center will be formally dedicated Aug. 14 at the plant site. The dedication ceremony is open to FMPA member utilities, local dignitaries, invited guests and the media.
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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 2 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.