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Public Service Commission


09/04/2008 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Approves Need for One New and Two Upgraded Natural Gas Units for FPL

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved petitions filed by Florida Power & Light (FPL) for a determination of need for one new natural gas-fired generating unit and upgrades for two existing generating units.

The new natural gas combined cycle generating unit (Unit 3) will be built at the West County Energy Center in Palm Beach County, and is projected to begin serving customers in 2011. Unit 3 is expected to generate 1,219 megawatts (MW). FPL is currently constructing two other natural gas combined cycle units at the site, which will begin serving customers in 2009 and 2010.

Additionally, FPL will convert two older oil- and natural gas-fueled steam electric generating units into efficient combined cycle power plants. At its Cape Canaveral plant in Brevard County, FPL will convert two 400 MW generating units into a single combined cycle power plant that will generate 1,219 MW.  In Palm Beach County, FPL will convert two 280 MW generating units at its Riviera plant into a 1,207 MW combined cycle power plant. The Cape Canaveral plant should enter commercial operation in June 2013, followed by Riviera in June 2014.

“These units will help meet future energy needs for customers in FPL’s service territory in a cost-effective, efficient, and timely manner,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “Upgrading outdated facilities reduces fuel consumption and increases system efficiency.”

When Unit 3 and the two converted units are complete, they will serve approximately 2 million residential customers.

In making its determination, the Commission considered the need for electric system reliability and integrity, base-load power, adequate electricity at a reasonable cost, and whether the proposed units are the most cost-effective alternative available.  The Commission also considered whether renewable energy sources or conservation measures were available to the utility that might mitigate the need for the proposed plant.

The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.

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