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FP&L Planning $1.2 Billion, 2,200 MW Gas-Fired Power Plant

Florida Power & Light Co. (FP&L) plans to build a 2,200 MW gas-fired power plant in Palm Beach County, FL, at an estimated price tag of $1.2 billion, a spokesperson for the power company told NGI last week.

Kathy Scott, a spokesperson for FP&L, said that the proposed project consists of two 1,100 MW, combined cycle natural gas-fired units. The site, which would be in the western part of Palm Beach County, is adjacent to FP&L power lines and a substation. "It's very close to the grid that serves our service territory, and also close to natural gas pipeline resources," Scott said.

She said that the company is looking at the 2009-2010 timeframe for when the plant would come online, "provided all the approvals and everything goes smoothly." The project is dubbed the "West County Energy Center."

FP&L expects to conduct a request for proposals (RFP) this fall "to see if we can identify some purchase power opportunity that might be better, more cost effective for our customers" than the West County Energy Center proposal. The RFP will be issued pursuant to Florida's competitive bid rule.

The company last month filed a site certification application with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection related to the West County Energy Center proposal.

Scott said that FP&L is "experiencing tremendous growth in our service territory." She noted that the proposed two units at West County Energy Center are in addition to power plant expansion projects at the company's Martin and Manatee plant sites.

FPL is adding a new, highly-efficient, natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating unit at its existing power plant site near Indiantown in Martin County to serve future customers' needs beginning in 2005. The Martin expansion proposal calls for converting two combustion turbine peaking units, along with two new combustion turbines, into more efficient combined-cycle natural gas generation providing an additional 800 MW of power.

The Manatee expansion project calls for a new state-of-the-art, combined-cycle generator capable of generating 1,100 MW.

The company also will add a 1,150 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating unit to its existing 11,000-acre Turkey Point plant site near Florida City. The new unit at Turkey Point is due to be online in 2007.

Meanwhile, FP&L is also planning to build two advanced technology coal-fired units in southwest St. Lucie County, FL, which would be online in the 2012-2013 timeframe.

Scott said that the company anticipates issuing an RFP for alternatives to the coal-fired unit project proposals sometime next year.

The explosive growth seen in the Sunshine state is also prodding other power entities in Florida to move on adding generation. For example, Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) recently filed a petition for a determination of need with the Florida Public Service Commission tied to a proposed 300 MW power plant that FMPA wants to build in the state.

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