Meeting today’s energy challenges while preserving the environment for tomorrow.
The Florida Everglades is both a tourist attraction and a source of fresh water for many south Florida communities. [Photo courtesy of Visit Florida]
The steady influx of nearly 1,000 new residents per day gives Florida a unique opportunity to model for other states the best response to 21st century infrastructure challenges.
“Florida is providing the moral leadership needed to preserve our state’s beautiful natural environment,” says Gov. Charlie Crist. To that end, he has charged his newly created Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change with developing a strategy to achieve specific targets for statewide greenhouse gas reductions.
Initially, the action team will make recommendations on Florida’s energy policy, including legislative initiatives to enhance energy and conservation and strategies to diversify the fuels used to generate electricity. The team will next address the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on public health, the economy and the environment with an eye to generating strategic investments and public-private partnerships to spur economic development around climate-friendly industries.
Many of Florida’s entrepreneurs, lawmakers, activists and researchers are already working toward these goals.
With power demands expected to rise by 25-30% over the next decade, Florida’s electric utilities are making improvements to existing plants and spending $1.7 billion statewide to add 1,109 miles of transmission lines.
Conservation is also on the table. Progress Energy Florida president and CEO Jeff Lyash reports that efficiency projects over the last 25 years have eliminated “7 million tons of carbon dioxide from the environment and have saved customers nearly $825 million
Power to the People
18 — Rural electric cooperatives
5 — Investor-owned electric companies
34 — Municipally owned electric utilities
- Atlanta-based Southern Company, along with the Orlando Utilities Commission and the engineering/construction firm KBR, is currently building a $569-million, 285-megawatt coal-fired coal-gasification plant in Orlando.
- In Polk County, Tampa Electric Company (TECO) uses an Integrated Gas Combination Cycle unit to gasify and purify coal for generating 250 megawatts of electricity for 75,000 customers. Another unit, planned for 2013, will provide an additional 630 megawatts. Says plant manager Mark Hornick, “There is zero visible stack emission, and other pollutants are at low amounts.” The technology is already in place to remove as much as 90% of the CO2.
- Southern Natural Gas Company (SNG), a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation, recently completed Phase I of its Cypress Pipeline project. The company’s new 167-mile pipeline now delivers liquefied natural gas (LNG) from storage tanks at Elba Island near Savannah, Ga., to Jacksonville, where it connects with the Houston-based Florida Gas Transmission System. Phases II and III of the project will increase compression on the pipeline and are slated for completion by 2010.
- Calypso LNG, LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based SUEZ Energy North America, is constructing a buoy system 10 miles offshore of Port Everglades in southeast Florida as a delivery point for LNG supplied by special ships.
- Tampa-based Gulfstream Natural Gas System is expanding its existing 69-mile pipeline in Florida.
- Falcon Gas Storage, also out of Houston, plans to construct a new natural gas storage hub in southern Alabama to boost pipeline gas deliveries to Florida and other southern states.