Florida Power & Light Company announced recently that its Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center has begun generating electricity from clean, U.S.-produced natural gas. Over its operational lifetime, the new fuel-efficient plant is expected to provide FPL customers hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel and other savings over and above the cost of construction.
The plant is capable of producing more than 1,200 MW of electricity or enough to power approximately 250,000 homes and businesses – roughly double the amount generated by the previous plant – without using any additional water or land. FPL invested approximately $900 million to build the facility, which was constructed on the site of a 1960s-era plant that the company took down in 2010. Construction was completed more than a month ahead of schedule, and approximately $140 million under budget.
In addition to saving on fuel costs, the latest technology further improves FPL's emissions profile. Compared to the former Cape Canaveral plant, the new facility generates power with half the rate of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 90 percent fewer air emissions. Moreover, the plant site's administration building features rooftop solar panels as part of its U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
As part of the company's four-year rate agreement approved by the Florida Public Service Commission last year, the net increase on a typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill will be 16 cents a month, or about half a penny per day, as the cost of building the plant is offset in large part by the fuel savings from the plant's efficiency.
FPL President Eric Silagy said, "This plant uses 33 percent less fuel to generate electricity, which will help us keep our typical residential customer bills the lowest in Florida and significantly lower than the national average. It's an important achievement for our company and our state. Investments in affordable, reliable, clean electricity will help our state's economy continue to grow."