Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) said Thursday it receivedapproval of its final construction permits to restructure the FortMyers power plant and will begin work at the site immediately.Generation from the $500 million project (called a “repowering”project) will be phased in beginning in early 2001 withcombined-cycle conversion complete by mid-year 2002.

Repowering entails replacing 1950s technology withcombined-cycle combustion turbines as well as switching the fuelsource from oil to gas. Once the work is complete, the plant willhave triple the electrical output, enabling FPL to serve more than300,000 homes and businesses in the future, compared to the present125,000.

Approvals granted included a Lee County Developmental Order andU.S. Army Corp. of Engineers project approval. Constructionapprovals also were granted by the Florida Department ofEnvironmental Protection, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agencyand the Florida Department of Transportation.

The approvals are not only significant for FPL, but also toFlorida Gas Transmission (FGT). The two companies formed analliance last October, in which FGT agreed to build the pipelinefor the new plant.

FPL expects to need more than 180 MMcf/d of additional gassupply as well as about 100 miles of new 24- or 30-inch diameterpipeline. The Fort Myers plant is the first of four projects slatedto expand FPL’s generating capability by 20% over the next 10 yearsto meet customer growth in Southwest Florida and elsewhere.

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press, Inc.