The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the need for Duke Energy Florida’s (DEF) proposed Citrus County combined cycle power plant and its Hines Chillers Power Uprate Project (Hines Project).
With today’s approval, DEF plans to construct a natural gas-fired, combined cycle power plant on a site adjacent to its Crystal River Energy Complex in Citrus County. Beginning in December 2018, the 1,640-megawatt (MW) facility will provide enough energy to power approximately 110,000 residential homes. The proposed plant is projected to result in savings of $477 million to $1.2 billion when compared to other alternatives.
The Hines Project involves installation of a chiller system that will cool the gas turbine inlet air to four existing power blocks at DEF’s Hines Energy Complex in Bartow. With service beginning in summer 2017, the project will contribute an additional 220 MW of summer capacity and could save customers from $90 to $140 million, when compared to other alternatives.
“Both projects will also bring new jobs to the state and help meet federal emissions standards,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham.
DEF had an additional proposal for a generating plant in Suwannee County, but the Commission didn't consider it after evidence was introduced indicating existing generating facilities could be bought at a substantially lower cost to customers. In response to that concern, DEF negotiated a preliminary agreement to buy the Osprey Energy Center from Calpine Construction Finance Company, and agreed to withdraw the Suwannee facility.
As part of the statutory need determination process, the PSC considers the need for electric system reliability and integrity, adequate electricity at a reasonable cost, fuel diversity, and fuel supply reliability. The Commission also considers whether renewable energy sources and technologies, as well as conservation measures, are used to the extent reasonably available.
DEF, Florida’s second largest investor-owned utility, serves 1.7 million customers.
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