Calpine Gets Contract for Florida Plant
Florida's onerous restrictions on new power plant construction aren't
holding back Calpine Corp. The company announced it has signed a contract
to supply power from a new 540 MW combined cycle plant to Tampa-based Seminole
The Osprey Energy Center would be built alongside Calpine's existing
Auburndale, FL 150 MW cogeneration plant. The contract to supply power
to the 10-member cooperative will support Calpine's Petition for Determination
of Need, currently pending before the Florida Public Service Commission.
"We are hoping it will satisfy the Commission's criteria" for
all power generated in the state to be dedicated to serving utilities and
customers in the state. It is the same criteria which effectively blocked
Duke Energy's plans for a 514 MW plant near New Smyrna Beach (see NGI,
While the contract grants the Seminole cooperative access to all the
power generated at the new plant, Seminole is not required to take it all.
The cooperative currently operates a 1,250 MW coal-fired power plant, has
a 14 MW share in a nuclear plant and is building another 500 MW combined
cycle plant. Seminole also buys power from other IPPs and sells into the
market. The cooperative members serve 680,000 retail customers in Florida.
A Seminole spokesman said the contract is designed to cover expanded
power needs expected to develop over the next several years. The Calpine
plant is targeted for completion in June, 2003.
Calpine's John Flumerfelt said the company is pursuing the same strategy
of finding a Florida purchaser for the output of an additional project
currently in the works, the Blue Heron Energy Center, which would supply
1,080 MW. "We hope to have a petition of need approved by the end
of this year. If we are not successful, we will just have to wait for the
Flumerfelt said Calpine is optimistic a new legislature may relax the
rules on new generation facilities. "There could be as much as a 60%
swing in the state legislature" in the upcoming election, Flumerfelt
said. "There could be a lot of new faces. We think this is a good
Meanwhile, a governor's commission set to investigate the Florida energy
situation is headed toward issuing an interim report early in the winter,
which may separate out the issue of a competitive bulk power market from
retail issues and set it on a faster track. The legislature could debate
that issue as early as March, Flumerfelt said.
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