News from Tallahassee for 9/18/14

Duke announces plans to build $1.5B gas plant in Citrus posted on 5/14/14

by News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — Duke Energy Florida on Tuesday said it plans to build a $1.5 billion natural gas power plant in Citrus County and shut down two coal-fired generating units there.

Duke is the state's second largest electric utility, with approximately 1.7 million customers overall and 60,000 in Marion County.

The utility indicated last year that it was likely to move forward with a plan like the one announced Tuesday. It will formally submit the plan to the state Public Service Commission on May 27 and hopes to receive a ruling later this year.

The new 1,640-megawatt natural gas plant would be built on 400 acres adjacent to the company's Crystal River complex and would start producing electricity in 2018.

The two coal-fired units, also at Crystal River, are expected to be shut down that same year.

Utilities in Florida and other states have increasingly shifted to cleaner-burning natural gas in recent years while moving away from coal plants. Duke said the new plant would be served by the proposed natural gas pipeline that planners hope to stretch from Alabama to Central Florida.

That pipeline, known as the Sabal Trail project, is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Corp. and NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent company of Florida Power & Light.

It is currently in the planning and review stages. At least one major player, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, has asked planners to justify the need for the pipeline.

» Read more

Fla. Gov. and Cabinet asked to OK nuclear plant posted on 5/13/14

by AP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the three members of the Cabinet are being asked to approve two nuclear reactors for South Florida.

Scott and the state's three other elected officials on Tuesday will decide whether Florida Power & Light should be allowed to add two nuclear generators at its existing Turkey Point facility near Homestead. The project would add approximately 2,200 megawatts of power or enough for an estimated 750,000 homes.

The state's largest utility is also asking for approval of nearly 90 miles of new power lines to carry electricity from the plant.

» Read more

Group again knocks nuclear cost law as it seeks hearing on FPL's St. Lucie plant posted on 5/7/14

by Bruce Ritchie | Florida Current

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is continuing to criticize the state's nuclear cost recovery law as it requests a hearing on design changes at Florida Power & Light Co.'s St. Lucie 2 nuclear reactor steam generator.

The Nuclear Energy Institute and FPL are urging the NRC to reject the request. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy now says Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff secretly approved design changes that contributed to wear that could cost FPL customers hundreds of millions of dollars.

And the group continues to accuse the Public Service Commission of rubber-stamping cost recovery for nuclear projects under a 2006 law.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in 2012 challenged the law, saying it was too vague to enforce in violation of the state constitution. The Florida Supreme Court rejected the group's arguments and instead sided with the PSC.

» Read more

Florida Legislature 2014: What passed and what failed posted on 5/5/14

by Staff | HERALD/TIMES TALLAHASSEE BUREAU

A list of some of the major and minor bills that passed and failed in the 2014 session. Bills must be approved by Gov. Rick Scott to become the law of the land.

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Fla. Lawmaker Wants Alternative Energy, Nuclear Fee Repeal On Ballot posted on 4/24/14

by JESSICA PALOMBO | WFSU

A state lawmaker whose energy policy proposals failed this year is hoping Floridians will get the chance to vote on them directly. Activists joined the representative Wednesday to push for constitutional amendments aimed at encouraging energy diversity and repealing a customer fee.

Florida for All, a progressive group partly funded by the Democratic Governors Association, held the press conference on the Historic Florida Capitol steps. At the event’s advertised time, three people had shown up: Rep. Dwight Dudley (D- St. Petersburg) and two sign-holding supporters.

One of them, Amy Datz, took the seconds just before the camera rolled to bend Dudley’s ear.

“I’m working on getting fracking moratorium for next session. You gonna help me out?” she said.

» Full story

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