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Public Service Commission


12/15/2005 Contact: 850-413-6482

Ten-Year Plans See Reduced Dependence on Natural Gas

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s electric utilities will reduce reliance on natural gas to power generating plants by diversifying into coal and nuclear generation, according to a review of 10-year site plans issued by the Florida Public Service Commission Thursday.

Agency staff annually reviews 10-year projections of electric utilities in the state and presents its findings to the Commission.  This year’s report reflects a reduced dependence on the use of natural of natural gas from 51 percent to 44 percent by 2014, the end of the current 10-year planning period.

While recommending the plans filed by the 11 reporting utilities be found “suitable,” staff indicated continued monitoring is essential to develop a balanced fuel supply.

Commission Chairman Rudolph “Rudy” Bradley said, “The continued health of Florida’s economy depends on having a diversified fuel mix, and it appears we are moving in that direction.”

Staff notes the application of a balanced fuel supply approach to electric generation planning may help mitigate volatile fuel cost increases and enhance reliability of the state’s electric system.  The report notes, “Utilities should not blindly continue the addition of natural gas-fired power plants without first critically reviewing their reliability criteria, conservation programs and renewable generation alternatives.”