FPL Adding Third Natural Gas Pipeline In Florida

By  //  January 2, 2013

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Expects Completion By 2017

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Power & Light Company has issued request for proposals to build a third major natural gas pipeline to serve Florida.

FPL says creating a new major natural gas pipeline will improve reliability of Florida’s critical fuel transportation system and expand the state’s access to onshore sources. (Shutterstock image)

FPL has reduced its use of oil by 98 percent over the past decade by investing in new, highly efficient power plants that use clean, U.S.-produced natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity, according to a press release issued by the company.

In 2001, FPL used more than 40 million barrels of oil to power customers and in 2012 the company used less than one million barrels.

With the two existing major natural gas pipelines serving peninsular Florida nearing full capacity, the state needs new natural gas transportation infrastructure by 2017 to meet the growing need for natural gas power.

A new major natural gas pipeline will also improve the reliability of the state’s critical fuel transportation system and expand the state’s access to onshore sources, helping reduce exposure to offshore sources in the Gulf of Mexico and supply interruptions caused by tropical weather.

“Replacing foreign oil with natural gas makes good sense for Florida and the nation. It has saved FPL customers billions of dollars in fuel costs. It also provides significant environmental benefits by lowering emissions,” said FPL President Eric Silagy. “However, as we continue to increase our use of U.S.-produced natural gas and as the needs of the state’s residents and businesses grow, we can’t rely solely on the two major pipelines that currently serve the state.

“A new, third pipeline system that includes a hub to interconnect all three pipeline systems in Central Florida is essential for the continued reliability and security of the state’s supply,” Silagy said.

To meet a growing demand for energy, FPL will add a third natural gas pipeline for Florida by 2017. (Image courtesy of Florida Power & Light)

Florida uses more natural gas for electricity than any U.S. state other than Texas, with about 60 percent of Floridians’ power generated by plants that burn natural gas. But, unlike Texas, Florida has minimal natural gas production, no storage capabilities and only two major pipelines to deliver the fuel necessary to power the peninsula’s residents and businesses.

In addition to meeting demand for additional natural gas and mitigating risk, building a new pipeline will generate thousands of jobs during construction and millions of dollars in new tax revenue for local schools and governments.

FPL is currently investing to modernize three old, oil and gas-fired power plants into high-efficiency natural gas energy centers that will be approximately 33 percent more efficient and 90 percent cleaner than the facilities they replace.

The three new plants being built are projected to effectively pay for themselves over their operational lifetimes with more than $1 billion in net customer savings compared with any other available generation options to meet future needs.

The net customer savings reflect the expected savings from the plants’ advanced fuel efficiency. FPL believes a new pipeline is the best option to fuel these and FPL’s existing natural gas plants in the near future as the electricity needs of FPL’s customers grow.

The proposed new “Southeast Pipeline” will provide about 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas capacity for FPL beginning in 2017, increasing in capacity in future years.

For more information about the project, visit www.FPL.com/naturalgaspipeline.