Â“These projects move us forward in our mission of providing our customers with affordable, reliable energy solutions that are cleaner and more efficient,Â” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera.
Together, the three projects will deliver significant economic benefits. The addition of a third West County unit in 2011 and modernizations of the Cape Canaveral and Riviera plants in 2013 and 2014 will save FPL customers $1.2 billion over the life of the projects.
The projects will also deliver significant environmental benefits. For example, in the first year that each of the new projects is online, the combined system-wide CO2 reductions will be the equivalent of taking 497,000 cars off the road, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
The new Cape Canaveral and Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Centers will be considerably more efficient than the existing facilities, using at least 33 percent less fuel to produce the same amount of power. In addition, the modernized units will improve FloridaÂ’s energy security by reducing FPLÂ’s use of imported fuel oil by 1.5 million barrels per year.
The Next Generation Clean Energy Centers will also contribute to improved air quality by reducing the rate of particulate emissions by at least 95 percent and the rate of carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent under normal operating conditions. FPL will also make a number of environmental improvements at each site.
For example, the office buildings will feature rooftop solar panels to help power the facilities, and the buildings themselves will be certified as environmentally sustainable under the U.S. Green Building CouncilÂ’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. At Riviera Beach, FPL will provide for a permanent manatee viewing area to foster continued support for this endangered species.
At the WCEC in Palm Beach County, FPL will be adding a third combined-cycle natural gas unit. The new unit will be the cleanest of its type in Florida and one of the cleanest in the nation.
The next step in the approval process for the plant modernizations is the filing of site certification applications with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which is anticipated to take place by January 2009. The next step in the approval process for the new WCEC unit is a site certification hearing in October.
Under the Florida Power Plant Siting Act, the Governor and Cabinet must ultimately provide approval before the projects can be built.