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FPL to Add 2,500 MW of Gas-Fired Generation

FPL to Add 2,500 MW of Gas-Fired Generation

Florida Power &amp Light Co. announced plans last week to accelerate by one year an expansion of its power generating system. The expansion will take place in phases with the first phase being completed in 2001. In total, the expansion will add 2,500 MW of new gas-fired generation capacity at three power plant locations over the next eight years with the majority coming on line by 2003.

"Peak demand for electricity this summer exceeded last year's summer peak on 43 days," FPL President Paul Evanson said. "FPL met this demand, but it's clear that a revised and more flexible expansion schedule is necessary."

FPL plans to triple the capacity of its Fort Myers plant in Southwest Florida, where demand is growing 40% faster than the rest of its service territory. The Fort Myers project will provide 1,400 MW of capacity when the repowered plant is fully operational at the end of 2001. The expanded plant will require a new 100-mile gas transmission pipeline, and FPL said it currently is negotiating a construction and supply contract with major pipeline and marketing companies. Two of six planned combustion turbines at Fort Myers will be operational by winter of 2001. The other four turbines are scheduled to be operational during the summer of 2001, and remaining work will be completed by December.

The second site in FPL's plan is the 933 MW Sanford plant. An expansion would include repowering two of its three oil- and gas-fired units by January 2003, with combustion turbines added in phases. The first of six turbines would enter service in early 2002. FPL's plan also recommends two gas-fired units by 2007 at the Martin County station, which currently operates two oil-fired and two gas- fired units. FPL said it has not completed calculations on the additional gas supply that will be required following the expansions, but a spokesman said the incremental supply requirements would be "significant."

Rocco Canonica

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