7 November 2004 – As significant customer growth continues in Progress Energy Florida’s service area, the company has placed into service the third generating unit at its Hines Energy Complex in Polk County. The newly completed natural gas fueled combined-cycle unit adds 500 MW of reliable, low-emission electric generating power to the Progress Energy power plant fleet.
“Adding the third unit at the Hines facility is important for ensuring continued electric reliability for our customers in Florida,” said Bill Habermeyer, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. “Even as we evaluate options for new baseload power plants, we must continue to add a mix of other generation resources to meet the growing needs of our customers. The Hines Energy Complex is a critical part of our diverse generation fleet and helps us meet our customers’ needs and expectations for reliability, cost-effectiveness and environmental stewardship.”
A combined-cycle unit consists of two combustion turbine (CT) generators and a system for recovering exhaust heat from the CTs to produce steam, which generates more electricity by sending the steam through a steam turbine. For the same amount of fuel, the combined-cycle plant generates about 50 per cent more electricity, making it highly efficient. The plant also will be equipped with state-of-the-art air emission controls. The company signed an agreement this year to ensure reliable natural gas supply for the plant.
Progress Energy already has two 500 MW natural gas-fueled combined-cycle plants operating at the Hines site. The completion of the third unit makes the Hines Energy Complex the largest power plant in Central Florida – with the capability to generate enough electricity to power roughly 950,000 homes and businesses. Construction on a fourth unit at Hines is scheduled to begin in early 2006, with completion expected by December 2007.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy provides electricity and related services to more than 1.5 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing over 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando.