Coal-to-biomass conversion at Florida plant is nearly completed

Florida Power Development LLC, which is converting a coal-fired power plant in Florida to firing biomass, got a July 3 approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

On April 26, as amended on May 30, Florida Power Development applied with FERC for market-based rate authority with an accompanying tariff. The proposed market-based rate tariff provides for the sale of energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates within the state of Florida. Florida Power Development also requested waivers commonly granted to similar market-based rate applicants. Those requests were approved on July 3.

Florida Power Development told FERC that it is currently converting the Brooksville Power Plant, located in Florida, from a coal-fired facility to a biomass-fueled facility with a 75-MW output. Florida Power Development expects commercial operation to begin in the third quarter of 2013. This facility is located at a cement-producing plant.

Florida Power Development is 93% indirectly owned by JPMorgan Chase & Co., and 7% owned by Florida Biomass Energy LLC, and is affiliated with several entities that own generation facilities in the Southeast region. The application said power from the converted plant will be sold to Duke Energy Florida under a negotiated long-term power purchase agreement.

The Brooksville Plant was previously owned and operated by Central Power & Lime LLC, a Florida limited liability company that was indirectly owned by Florida Power Development’s parent company, Central Power Holdings. CP&L sold the electrical output of the facility to Progress Energy Florida (now known as Duke Energy Florida) under a power purchase agreement under CP&L’s market-based rate authorization.

Florida Power Development said it is retaining the existing 133-MW turbine generator at the Brooksville Plant, but the biomass-fired boiler being installed at the facility will limit its net power production capacity to a maximum of about 75 MW. The average net power production capacity of the facility is likely to be significantly less, the company added.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.