Beginning Monday, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) will conduct a determination of need hearing on Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) request to build a natural gas unit (Unit 3) at its West County Energy Center in Palm Beach County.
FPL has asked the PSC for approval to construct an additional natural gas combined cycle generating unit at the electrical power plant site. The company is currently constructing two natural gas combined cycle units at the site, which will begin serving customers in 2009 and 2010. If approved, Unit 3 is projected to begin serving customers in 2011.
The hearing will also address requests from FPL to upgrade generating units at plants in Palm Beach and Brevard Counties. The company plans to remove 1960s-era oil and natural gas fueled steam electric generating units at both plants and replace the units with combined cycle power plants.
The hearing provides an opportunity for the public to comment and for the utility and other interested parties to present evidence and testimony concerning the need for the proposed generation additions.
As part of the need determination process, the PSC must consider the need for: electric system reliability and integrity; adequate electricity at a reasonable cost; fuel diversity; and fuel supply reliability. The Commission must also consider whether renewable energy sources and technologies, as well as conservation measures, are utilized to the extent reasonably available.
All members of the public who wish to make a statement should be present at the beginning of the hearing on Monday, June 23. The hearing is set for the following time and location:
Monday, June 23 – Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Betty Easley Conference Center
Joseph P. Cresse Hearing Room (Room 148)
4075 Esplanade Way
Environmental impacts and other issues related to the proposed plant and associated facilities will be considered by other agencies in separate public hearings.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.