Florida: Supply Chasing Demand, In a Good Way

By April 3, 2007Energy

Big happenings in Florida today, energywise. From the DOE:

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today announced the signing of a Record of Decision that clears the path for construction of a $569-million, 285-megawatt coal-fired power plant that will be one of the cleanest, most efficient plants of its kind in the world. The plant will be co-owned by Southern Power Company, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), and Kellogg, Brown and Root and will be located at OUC’s existing Stanton Energy Center near Orlando, FL. DOE will provide 41% of the funding, or $235 million, through a cooperative agreement with Southern Power.

“The innovative technologies we are funding through the President Bush’s Clean Coal Power Initiative hold the promise of generating clean, reliable, and affordable electricity in the United States, utilizing our most abundant natural resource, coal,” Secretary Bodman said. “Southern Company’s proven combined-cycle approach increases the amount of electricity that can be generated from a given amount of fuel and takes us to the next step in implementing this technology on a wide scale, commercial basis.”

The project is especially exciting in terms of U.S. energy security because the process can be used cost-effectively with low-rank coals, which represent a major part of U.S. reserves.

Meanwhile, Florida Power & Light is considering the construction of two more nuclear power units at its Turkey Point site. From the Palm Beach Post:

Michael Leighton, FPL’s chief development officer, said “two units make more sense than one” at this point. The company has not selected a reactor technology, Leighton said.

FPL President Armando Olivera has said the company is bullish on nuclear power, to the point that he would like to see the utility get between 50 and 60 percent of its fuel from nuclear. He told the state’s Energy Commission in February that the company is targeting 2018 to have at least one unit open.

Florida’s continued economic vitality depends on these kinds of projects, part of a broad strategy of energy development. According to a 2001 study by the United States Energy Information Administration, Florida ranks third nationally in total energy consumption, and the state’s demand for electric generation is expected to grow some 58 percent between 2002 and 2020. (Source.)