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FPL's Fort Myers Project Gets Green Light

FPL's Fort Myers Project Gets Green Light

Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) said Thursday it received approval of its final construction permits to restructure the Fort Myers power plant and will begin work at the site immediately. Generation from the $500 million project (called a "repowering" project) will be phased in beginning in early 2001 with combined-cycle conversion complete by mid-year 2002.

Repowering entails replacing 1950s technology with combined-cycle combustion turbines as well as switching the fuel source from oil to gas. Once the work is complete, the plant will have triple the electrical output, enabling FPL to serve more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the future, compared to the present 125,000.

Approvals granted included a Lee County Developmental Order and U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers project approval. Construction approvals also were granted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Transportation.

The approvals are not only significant for FPL, but also to Florida Gas Transmission (FGT). The two companies formed an alliance last October, in which FGT agreed to build the pipeline for the new plant.

FPL expects to need more than 180 MMcf/d of additional gas supply as well as about 100 miles of new 24- or 30-inch diameter pipeline. The Fort Myers plant is the first of four projects slated to expand FPL's generating capability by 20% over the next 10 years to meet customer growth in Southwest Florida and elsewhere.

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