JUNO BEACH, Fla., Nov 8, 2000 (PRNewswire via COMTEX) Florida Power & Light Company announced that the first of six new combustion turbines was successfully placed in service this month on the site of its “repowering” project at the Fort Myers power plant.
The new combustion turbines will enter service first as “simple-cycle” units, at the rate of approximately one per month through June 2001 to meet FPL customer growth and the need for additional electricity through the winter peak and summer 2001 periods.
“Simple cycle” refers to using the turbines to turn generators directly through combustion without using the exhaust heat they produce to make more electricity. By 2002, all the turbines will be re-configured as “combined cycle” units, which means they also will make use of the exhaust heat and existing plant steam turbine/generators. When repowering is complete, the plant will produce electricity 40 percent more efficiently and be capable of serving more than 300,000 homes and businesses instead of the 125,000 the plant serves today.
The combustion turbines being installed at the plant are similar in design and operation to a jet aircraft engine. However, each of these turbines is roughly five times the size and power of a 747 jet engine. In simple-cycle operation, the six new turbines represent approximately 900 megawatts of additional generating capacity.
FPL said the addition of the simple-cycle units is an important milestone in the $500 million repowering project. The ultimate goal, however, is to convert the 1950s, oil-burning Fort Myers plant to a state-of-the-art, cleaner-burning natural gas “combined-cycle” plant. The conversion from simple-cycle to combined-cycle operation will begin in the fall of 2001 and be completed by mid-2002.
“FPL remains committed to adequately planning for and reliably meeting the energy needs of our customers now and in the future,” said FPL President Paul Evanson. “Our expansion program also reflects our commitment to remain one of the cleanest utilities in the country.”
When the Fort Myers repowering project is complete the plant will generate approximately 1,400 megawatts, and its operation as a combined-cycle plant will make it one of the most cost-efficient plants in Florida. Additionally, there will no longer be a need to barge oil to the site and the old boilers and large red and white stacks will be dismantled.
The Fort Myers repowering project is the first of a number of projects slated to expand FPL’s generating capability by 24 percent over the next 10 years. Plans call for the repowered Fort Myers plant to be fully operational by the middle of 2002.
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), one of the nation’s largest providers of electricity-related services. The company serves 3.8 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group’s U.S. and international energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Fort Myers repowering at www.fpl.com under “Our Environment.”
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company
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