The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today determined there is a need for two new natural gas plants in Putnam and Pasco Counties designed to meet future power demands for electric cooperative customers throughout Florida. Together, the projects are expected to save customers $363 million.
Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Seminole) will build a new 1,122 megawatt (MW) natural gas facility in Putnam County to begin service in December 2022. Shady Hills Energy Center, LLC (Shady Hills) will build a new 573 MW natural gas facility in Pasco County to begin service in December 2021, with Seminole purchasing all of the power generated at the plant. Both facilities will be built on current sites allowing the utility to save money by using existing transmission and water resource infrastructure.
“Seminole demonstrated that additional power generation will be needed to ensure reliable service, and the plan approved today to fill that need is the most cost effective alternative for customers,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “We also commend Seminole’s member utilities for using renewable resources and conservation programs to benefit customers.”
The PSC held a hearing March 21-22 for Seminole’s two determination of need requests. During the hearing, Commissioners heard testimony, reviewed evidence, and questioned parties to the case about the proposed plants.
Seminole provides wholesale power to its nine member distribution electric cooperatives throughout the state, serving 1.7 million Floridians.