Calpine First to Crack Florida Power Generation Market

The much ballyhooed power generation race in Florida finally got underway last Monday as the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the first independent power combined cycle facility under the Florida Power Plant Siting Act. The approved application for a 529 MW facility was submitted by Calpine Corp. and Seminole Electric Cooperative.

The Osprey Energy Center will be located in Auburndale, FL, next to Calpine's existing 150 MW facility. Under the agreement, Calpine will build the plant, while Seminole's 10 member distribution cooperatives consisting of 1.5 million customers will have access to the electricity for a period of 17 years, beginning in June 2003. In addition, Calpine also reported that it will add a 100 MW peaking unit to the existing 150 MW site.

Calpine said in October 2000 it hoped the contract to supply power to the cooperative would support its petition for Determination of Need before the PSC (see NGI, Oct. 23, 2000). Calpine said the project will now move toward final hearings and approval by Florida's Power Plant Siting Board, with ground-breaking expected to occur later this year.

The Osprey project and the company's 1,080 MW Blue Heron Energy Center account for Calpine's previously announced $750 million expansion onslaught on the Florida electricity market. The Blue Heron project will be located in Indian River County, west of Vero Beach. The company also reinforced its presence in the state by opening an office in Tampa during 2000.

Alex Steis

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