The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a proposal by Seminole Electric Cooperative for a 1,122-megawatt plant in Putnam County, planning to close the existing coal-fire unit there creating a savings of more than $363 million, according to the News Service of Florida. The Putnam County plant is expected to come online in December 2022.
Seminole provides wholesale electricity to cooperatives in 42 of the state’s 67 counties and “contends the new facilities are the most cost-effective way to meet the future energy needs of customers of cooperatives.”
According to POWER Magazine, natural gas has become the predominant fuel for power generation in Florida over the past few years. Seminole has reiterated that the technology associated with natural-gas fired generation will be much cleaner and cost-effective for the cooperative’s members and thus, the businesses located there. While there may be some concern that natural gas accounts for 62 percent of the state’s energy production, PSC Chairman Art Graham said the current lower price of natural gas made the approval “the prudent thing to do.”