FPL burning more gas, less coal in 2013 than expected

Natural gas costs for Florida Power & Light are turning out higher than expected for 2013 and coal costs lower than expected, said FPL official Terry Keith in Aug. 2 fuel testimony filed at the Florida Public Service Commission.

Keith is Director, Cost Recovery Clauses in the Regulatory Affairs Department at FPL. His testimony covers “true-up” figures that reflect actual fuel prices the utility paid in the first half of this year (actual period) and will pay in the second half of the year (estimated period) as compared to projections entering the year.

Natural gas costs are currently projected to be $273.7m (11.5%) higher than the original projections. Although the unit cost of natural gas in the actual/estimated period is projected to be only 0.3% higher than what was included in the original projections ($4.8940 per MMBTU vs. $4.8815 per MMBTU), consumption of natural gas in the actual/estimated period is projected to be 544,295,269 MMBTUs, which is approximately 11.2% higher than the 14 489,626,432 MMBTUs included in the original projections.

Coal costs are currently projected to be $12.8m (7.7%) lower than the original projections. The unit cost of coal in the actual/estimated period is projected to be $2.65 per MMBTU, which is 5.2% lower than the $2.79 per MMBTU included in the original projections. Coal consumption in the actual/estimated period is projected to be 58,243,399 MMBTUs, which is 2.6% lower than the 59,813,211 MMBTUs included in the original projections.

FPL gets relatively little of its power from coal, with its coal presence being at the co-owned Scherer Unit 4 in Georgia and the co-owned (with JEA) St. Johns River Power Park in Florida.

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.