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12/18/2014 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Continues Renewable Energy Growth with Power Purchase Contract Approval

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC) petitions to extend the utility’s renewable energy purchase agreement with Rayonier Performance Fibers, LLC (Rayonier), and to begin a new purchase power agreement with Eight Flags Energy, LLC (Eight Flags). Together, the projects offer potential customer savings of more than $36 million.

“The PSC supports projects that encourage renewable energy use, promote Florida’s fuel diversity, and benefit customers,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham.  “Not only will FPUC’s innovative projects help improve reliability to its Amelia Island customers, but they will lower fuel costs for all FPUC customers.”

The PSC originally approved a renewable energy agreement between FPUC and Rayonier in July 2012. Under the original 10-year agreement terms, Rayonier would sell FPUC excess energy generated by a 22.5 megawatt (MW) turbine generator at its Fernandina mill. Today’s approval extends that contract from October 2022 to September 2036.

In September, FPUC negotiated a 20-year purchased power agreement with Eight Flags, the owner of a planned turbine generation facility fueled by natural gas. Projected to begin production in September 2016, the cogeneration facility will generate steam for Rayonier, a cellulose specialties products plant, and will produce approximately 20 MW of base load power for FPUC.

In considering the contracts, the Commission reviewed FPUC’s power needs and the contract’s cost effectiveness, security provisions, and performance guarantees.

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