Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced its plans to build an advanced technology coal power plant in Glades County, Florida, to meet the growing demand for electricity in the state while maintaining its industry-leading environmental performance.
The announcement is part of the company's plan to meet continued growth in the state and diversify the fuels used to produce Florida's power. "This innovative coal plant will utilize abundant coal reserves, increase system reliability and help stabilize power prices in the future," said Armando Olivera, president of FPL. "It will be one of the cleanest coal plants in the country, providing power for more than 650,000 homes."
The proposed FPL Glades Power Park will be built within a 5,000-acre site approximately five miles northwest of Moore Haven. Glades County Commissioners voiced strong support for the plant today, passing a resolution endorsing the project.
The Commissioners recognized the benefits of establishing an advanced technology coal-fired power plant in Glades County stating that it would provide significant economic benefits and, as it must comply with federal, state and local regulations, would also promote the health, safety and welfare of its residents.
"We are pleased to have found an excellent site in Glades County, and we look forward to an ongoing dialogue with community leaders, neighbors and other interested citizens as we develop and share our plans for this project," said Olivera.
"Building this state-of-the-art advanced technology coal plant is important for our customers to continue to enjoy reliable power and gain long-term price stability," said Olivera. "We must have fuel diversity to make that happen."
According to Michael Leighton, vice president and chief development officer, FPL studied coal-fired power plants domestically and internationally to bring the best proven technology to the proposed project in Florida. "Recent advancements in coal generation technology have increased plant efficiencies and significantly reduced emissions, allowing us the opportunity to use this abundant, lower cost resource to help meet the continued growth in Florida," Leighton said.
"The more people learn about the innovative technology we're planning to use, the more they will realize that coal is essential to meeting Florida's growing power needs," he said.
Fuel diversity encouraged by FPSC
The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) has strongly encouraged Florida electric utilities to diversify their fuel sources, including coal and nuclear, since most new generation facilities built in the past decade use natural gas.
Since 1999, FPL has invested $2.3 billion to build two new natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plants and convert two older oil-fired plants to utilize this cleaner fuel source and efficient technology. FPL's fleet of fossil-fired power plants is approximately 12 percent more efficient than just five years ago and is able to serve 700,000 more customers. FPL is also constructing a natural gas-fired plant in South Florida at its Turkey Point Plant site and plans a two-unit plant in western Palm Beach County.
"Natural gas-fired plants are highly efficient and can be constructed in a relatively short period of time," said Olivera. "However, with the volatility of natural gas and oil prices today and anticipated in the future, we must diversify and consider other fuel sources such as advanced technology coal, nuclear and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and ocean current. This is a balanced and sensible approach for the future."
FPL's current fuel mix is: 43 percent natural gas, 19 percent nuclear, 17 percent oil, 18 percent coal, and 3 percent other, which includes renewable energy sources, as well as a mix of fuels from purchased power. In total, approximately 17 percent of FPL's electricity is supplied by other power companies under long-term purchase agreements.