FMEA News Feed

State to Weigh New Northeast Florida Power Plant

With the utility industry continuing toward increased use of natural gas to fuel power plants, an electric cooperative has started seeking a key state approval to build a new plant in Northeast Florida.

Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc., filed a proposal last week with the state Department of Environmental Protection to build a 1,050-megawatt natural-gas plant north of Palatka in Putnam County, according to documents posted on the state Division of Administrative Hearings website. The plant would replace one of two 650-megawatt coal-fired plants operating at the site.

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Tampa Electric Seeks Sign-off to Collect Solar Money

Tampa Electric Company is asking state regulators to approve a nearly $26.5 million base-rate increase to pay for the first phase of a plan to build solar-energy projects, according to a petition filed Thursday at the Florida Public Service Commission.

The money would pay for a 70.3-megawatt solar project in Polk County and a 74.4-megawatt project in Hillsborough County that are expected to start generating electricity by Sept. 1.

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Regulators Back FPL on Controversial Plume Costs

State regulators Tuesday approved a controversial proposal by Florida Power & Light to collect at least $176.4 million from customers for a project dealing with a saltwater plume that moved from an FPL plant into nearby groundwater.

Representatives of consumers and business and environmental groups fought the proposal, contending that customers should not have to pay for the clean-up project in Miami-Dade County.

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Governor’s Office Weighs How to Replace PSC Appointee

Gov. Rick Scott’s staff has not determined how to fill a Public Service Commission seat after the withdrawal of an appointee who was accused by an influential senator of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Scott said Monday it remains unclear if the Public Service Commission Nominating Council will have to restart the search process or if a name can be selected from among other finalists proposed by the council in August.

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Lawmakers Urged to Ease Advance Refunding Bond Repeal Transition

The American Public Power Association and the Large Public Power Council have joined with a large group of stakeholders in urging lawmakers to support delaying to Dec. 31, 2018 the effective date of a provision in recently passed tax legislation that would repeal the ability to issue advance refunding bonds. The group proposed as another alternative disallowing advance refunding of bonds issued after Dec. 31, 2017.

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For the People of Florida, the End of November is a Time to Celebrate

It’s when we say goodbye to the Atlantic hurricane season.

After 11 years without a direct hit, the past two hurricane seasons have brought us Hermine, Matthew and Irma. This season’s Hurricane Irma was a powerful and massive Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in the Keys. The second strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, Irma was wider than the Florida peninsula leaving few parts of the Sunshine State spared. As Hurricane Irma made a beeline up the state, she brought destruction, flooding and widespread power outages.

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Workman Out as Utility Regulator After Misconduct Allegation

Allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct continued to send shock waves through the Capitol on Monday, as an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott to the state’s utility-regulatory board withdrew from the job after an influential senator accused him of manhandling her at a charity event last year.

Ritch Workman, a former state House member who was supposed to begin work next month on the state Public Service Commission, walked away from the appointment, which would have required Senate confirmation.

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