FPL seeks air permits for Fort Myers, Lauderdale repowering projects

On Aug. 5, within an annual environmental cost recovery docket, Florida Power & Light filed with the Florida Public Service Commission copies of a recent air permit application for repowering of its Lauderdale and Fort Myers power plants.

On July 31, FPL filed the air construction permit applications, prepared by consultant Golder Associates, with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

FPL’s existing Fort Myers plant is located in Lee County and includes one block of 12 simple cycle gas turbines (GT1 through GT12). GT Units 1 through 12 began operation in May 1974. Each GT has a gross capacity of 63 MW. GT Units 1 through 12 are currently authorized to operate under FDEP Title V permit on No. 2 distillate oil and specification used oil.

The existing 12 GTs located at the Fort Myers plant are early generation gas turbine units that are used to serve peak and emergency demands in a quick start manner. These units have low stack heights (less than 50 feet) and relatively high nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions rates typical of these older generation units. NOx emissions principally consist of nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

A new 1-hour national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) has been recently promulgated by EPA and adopted by FDEP that is much more stringent than the previous annual average NAAQS for NO2. Analyses of these existing 12 GT units found that the emissions from these units would not disperse sufficiently to bring off-site concentrations below the 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. FPL’s evaluation concluded that the most cost effective solution is to replace the existing GTs with new, highly efficient combustion turbines with lower NOx emission rates.

FPL, after consultations and agreement with FDEP understands that completing this project as expeditiously as possible is necessary to FDEP’s implementation of the NAAQS Program and Section 172 of the Clean Air Act. Thus FPL plans to bring three new CTs into service by Dec. 31, 2016, that would assure 1-hour NO2 concentrations do not exceed the NAAQS at the property boundary.

The plan is for retirement (except potentially two GTs to be retained for emergency black start capability only) of the existing Fort Myers GT1 through GT12 and replacement with three nominal 200-MW combustion turbines (CTs), effectively changing out the combustion technology of FPL’s peaking resources to reduce emissions. These three CTs will be located at the Fort Myers plant and will be referred to as the Fort Myers CT Project. The new CTs will be designated Units 3C through 3E. Dismantlement of the existing units will occur after the new CTs are operational in order to maintain peak service capability in south Florida. There will be no overlap of operation between the existing GT units and new CTs.

The CTs being evaluated for the project include the General Electric 7FA.05 and 7FA.04 CTs, and Siemens Power Generation SGT6-5000F(5) CTs, or other vendor equivalents.

Two other FPL plants would be replaced at one of the sites

FPL’s existing Lauderdale plant is located in Broward County and includes two banks of 12 simple cycle gas turbines (GT1 through GT12 and GT13 through GT24). GT Units 1 through 12 began operation in August 1970, and the commercial in service dates for GT Units 13 through 24 was August 1972. Each bank of GTs has a nominal net capacity of 504 MW. GT Units 1 through 24 are authorized to operate pursuant to an existing air permit on natural gas and distillate oil.

In close proximity to the Lauderdale plant is the Port Everglades plant that includes one bank of similarly designed simple cycle GTs (GT1 through GT12) that are authorized to operate on natural gas and distillate oil. These 12 GTs also have a nominal net capacity of 504 MW and have been operating since 1971.

The existing 36 GTs located in Broward County at these two plants are first generation gas turbine units that are used to serve peak and emergency demands in a quick start manner. Each unit consists of two aero-derivative gas turbines coupled with a single gas flow driven turbine-electric generator.

The new 1-hour NAAQS has been recently promulgated by EPA and adopted by FDEP that is much more stringent than the previous annual average NAAQS for NO2. Analyses of these 36 GT units found that the emissions from these units would not disperse sufficiently to bring off-site concentrations below the 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. FPL’s evaluation concluded that the most cost effective solution is to replace the existing GTs with new, highly efficient combustion turbines with lower NOx emission rates.

FPL plans to bring five new CTs into service by Dec. 31, 2016, that would assure 1-hour NO2 concentrations do not exceed the NAAQS at the property boundaries of the Lauderdale and Fort Myers plants.

This air permit application consists of the retirement (except potentially two GTs to be retained for emergency black start capability only) of the existing Lauderdale GT Units (GT1 through GT24) and the Port Everglades GT Units (GT1 through GT12) and replacement with five nominal 200-MW CTs, effectively changing out the combustion technology of FPL’s peaking resources to reduce emissions. These five CTs will be located at FPL’s Lauderdale plant and will be referred to as the Lauderdale CT Project. The new CTs will be designated Units 6A through 6E.

Dismantlement of the existing generation units will occur after the new CTs are operational in order to maintain peak service capability in south Florida. There will be no overlap of operation between the existing GT units and new CTs.

The five new CTs will be more energy efficient than the existing 36 GTs and will provide cleaner energy to FPL’s customers. The CTs being evaluated for the project include the General Electric 7FA.05 and 7FA.04 CTs, and Siemens Power Generation SGT6-5000F(5) CTs, or other vendor equivalents.

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.