Florida Power Boosting Gas-Fired Generating Capacity
Florida Power Corp. has joined in the flurry of new energy
projects spurred by this summer's record-setting heat wave, filing
plans with the Florida Public Service Commission to accelerate the
building of a second generation unit at its Hines Energy Complex in
Polk County. The unit will provide additional capability to meet
growing demand for electricity well into the next century. The
company has offered to absorb construction costs for the plant in
its current customer rates.
The 500-megawatt Hines 2 plant will help meet the needs of the
company's growing customer base in Florida by increasing
reliability and generation capacity -- and its fuel efficiency will
lead to lower energy prices for customers. Following the required
regulatory approvals in 1999, construction of the plant will begin.
The plant is expected to begin operating in mid-2001. Hines I and
II combined will consume 70-80 MMcf/d of gas depending upon
"We've anticipated Florida's growing energy needs for some time.
That's why we designed the Hines site to accommodate up to 3,000 MW
when fully developed over the next decade," said Joe Richardson,
CEO of the St. Petersburg, FL utility. The first unit at Hines,
with a capacity of 500 MW, is scheduled for commercial operation
later this year.
Richardson said events this past summer, when Florida Power
exceeded its previous record peak demand on 30 separate days,
highlighted the need for more generation. The record-setting heat
in June, the hottest month in the history of Florida, required the
company to use its energy management program beyond the practical
limit of customer tolerance.
The Florida Reliability Council recently completed a report
outlining the need for more than 10,000 MW of additional power
generating capacity in the state by 2007.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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