State: No new coal plant for FP&L

State: No new coal plant for FP&L

State regulators have ruled against Florida Power & Light Co., rejecting the company’s bid to build a clean coal power plant in Glades County.

Juno Beach-based FP&L said it is deeply disappointed in the four voting members of the Florida Public Service Commission’s unanimous decision on Tuesday.

For the last several years, the company said it has received strong encouragement through the Florida Energy Plan, the Florida Legislature and the PSC to diversify its fuel mix.

“Even during today’s deliberations, each commissioner discussed the need for increased fuel diversity in Florida,” the company said, noting it continues to believe a clean coal plant is the only near-term viable generation option to achieve that objective.

The company also said if it has to build natural gas-fired plants instead of the clean coal plant, that by 2016 it will be 70 percent dependent on that fuel source. FP&L warned that could expose customers to risks in reliability and ultimately higher prices.

However, the company lost its bid to build the coal plant, in part, due to risks the facility would contribute to Everglades and other environmental pollution.

FP&L President Armando Olivera said his company “obviously misread” the PSC’s intention for fuel diversity. He said FP&L is hopeful the commission will provide it “clear and unwavering direction” for the future.

“Despite our energy management and conservation programs, we need to build power plants to meet future customer growth and energy requirements,” he said.

FP&L serves 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida.

At the end of May, the PSC foreshadowed its rejection of the company’s coal plant plans when it ruled on the need for the plant, but still proposed denying FP&L’s petition.

Shares in parent company FPL Group (NYSE: FPL) closed down $1 to $59.93. The 52-week high was $66.52 on May 22. The 52-week low was $40.16 on June 22.

Published June 6, 2007 by the South Florida Business Journal

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