A Sector Portrait
Florida's total power consumption: 226,172 million kilowatt hours, ranking the state third nationally, behind Texas and California
FPL is proposing two new nuclear units at its existing Turkey Point site.
ENERGY in FLORIDA:
A Sector Portrait
Florida’s investor-owned utilities are building back their customer bases thanks to a growing population and higher energy use per customer after sharp declines during the economic slowdown.
» FPL’s retail sales grew 3% in the third quarter of 2010, with about 27,000 additional customers over the same period a year ago.
» Progress Energy Florida reported a 7,000 net increase in the average number of customers in the same period.
» TECO officials also reported customer growth, noting that “we have more than recovered all customers lost since the start of the housing market crisis.”
» The utilities reported that they also benefited from 2010’s record-setting winter freezes and summer heat waves, which led to record peak demand in the state.
» Total retail utility accounts in Florida dropped from 8.35 million in 2007 to 8.31 million in 2010, according to the Public Service Commission. The utilities cite the economic slowdown, the real estate bust and the credit crisis for the declining numbers. They are expected to return to the 2007 levels this year.
Natural Gas and Nuclear
Environmental and other concerns have put the kibosh on more than 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired plants planned around the state. Most new generating capacity for the immediate future will come from natural gas. Long term, the state’s utilities and regulators put their faith in nuclear power. Nearly 5,000 megawatts of new capacity are planned by Progress Energy Florida and FPL.
Progress Energy’s proposed nuclear facilities in Levy County
The companies plan to build the first new nuclear plants in Florida in 20 years in rural Levy County and Miami’s Turkey Point. However, both companies have slowed their nuclear projects amid the economic downturn. Progress Energy’s two Levy units have been delayed at least 20 months for what the company describes as regulatory holdups.