Utilities Unveil $479 Million Power Plant in Central Florida
Investment in clean, efficient, reliable technology benefits electric customers
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 25, 2011 – Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) dedicated a new high-efficiency power plant in Osceola County, Fla., at a ceremony yesterday.
The new 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.
“This new generator represents an investment in our communities’ future,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Nicholas P. Guarriello. “This facility will ensure that homes and businesses statewide will enjoy clean, affordable, reliable electricity for many years to come.”
“This project is also an investment in the Central Florida community,” said KUA President and General Manager Jim Welsh. “In addition to strengthening our region’s power infrastructure, the construction of this generator has made significant contributions to the area’s economy and charities.”
Investing in Clean, Efficient, Reliable Technology
FMPA has modernized its power generating resources in recent years to enhance efficiency, much like converting to a fleet of fuel-sipping hybrid cars.
“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.”
Featuring highly efficient power generation technology and advanced environmental controls, Cane Island Unit 4 is among the cleanest, most efficient plants of its kind. It can generate electricity up to 35% more efficiently than older generators of its type.
The addition of Cane Island Unit 4 will ensure a reliable electric supply for many years to come. Cane Island Unit 4 is expected to operate a high percentage of the time thanks to its low cost of operations.
“Among our fleet of power generators, Cane Island Unit 4 will be an ‘MVP’ thanks to its reliable, efficient technology,” said Guarriello.
Investing in Our Communities
Construction of the project, which was budgeted at $479 million, supported Central Florida’s economy. During the two-year construction period, the project created more than 600 temporary construction positions, with wages totaling more than $41 million. Local spending for the project totaled more than $20 million.
Owners and contractors of the project have also given back to the community through charitable giving 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 Named in Honor 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 Cane Island Combustion Turbine 4. Gemskie was honored during the dedication ceremony, and a plaque permanently dedicating the turbine in her honor was unveiled.
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.