FERC Tuesday issued a favorable environmental review of Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC's proposed expansion that would provide 155,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation capacity to serve Progress Energy's repowered Bartow Power Plant in Pinellas County, FL.

"Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment," FERC staff concluded in the environmental assessment on the Phase IV project [CP07-51].

The expansion calls for the construction of 17.7 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline that would connect the existing Gulfstream pipeline to the Bartow plant. The project also would require the installation of a 15,000-horsepower (hp) turbine-driven compressor unit at Gulfstream's existing compressor station in Mobile County, AL, and a new 30,000-hp compressor station in Manatee County, FL.

Progress Energy Florida proposes to repower its 472 MW oil-fired Bartow facility with three combined-cycle gas turbines that would generate 1,100 MW of power. The first combined-cycle unit is expected to be in service in June 2009, followed by the second in December 2009 and the third in June 2010.

Gulfstream has executed a long-term agreement to provide 155,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service to the Bartow plant.

Gulfstream, which is owned by The Williams Cos. and Spectra Energy, extends 691 miles across the Gulf of Mexico to the Florida Peninsula from Alabama, providing 1.1 Bcf/d of natural gas to gas-hungry Florida markets.

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