Florida Power Corp. has joined in the flurry of new energyprojects spurred by this summer’s record-setting heat wave, filingplans with the Florida Public Service Commission to accelerate thebuilding of a second generation unit at its Hines Energy Complex inPolk County. The unit will provide additional capability to meetgrowing demand for electricity well into the next century. Thecompany has offered to absorb construction costs for the plant inits current customer rates.
The 500-megawatt Hines 2 plant will help meet the needs of thecompany’s growing customer base in Florida by increasingreliability and generation capacity — and its fuel efficiency willlead to lower energy prices for customers. Following the requiredregulatory approvals in 1999, construction of the plant will begin.The plant is expected to begin operating in mid-2001. Hines I andII combined will consume 70-80 MMcf/d of gas depending uponweather.
“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 MWwhen 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 operationlater this year.
Richardson said events this past summer, when Florida Powerexceeded its previous record peak demand on 30 separate days,highlighted the need for more generation. The record-setting heatin June, the hottest month in the history of Florida, required thecompany to use its energy management program beyond the practicallimit of customer tolerance.
The Florida Reliability Council recently completed a reportoutlining the need for more than 10,000 MW of additional powergenerating capacity in the state by 2007.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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