Duke Energy Florida coal burn in 2014 comes in lower than expected

Duke Energy Florida burned a little less coal in 2014 than it had expected at its Crystal River power plant, but at a much higher average price.

This Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiary on March 3 filed at the Florida Public Service Commission, under an annual fuel cost review case, the actual versus forecasted fuel data for 2014. The forecast had been for 5.28 million tons of coal burn in 2014, with the actual figure coming in at 5.15 million tons. But the actual cost for that coal came in at $4/mmBtu, up nearly 20% from the forecast of $3.34/mmBtu. No reason was offered in supporting testimony for the higher coal price figure.

The filing doesn’t specifically say this coal was burned at Crystal River, but the four coal units there are the utility’s only coal-fired capacity. The older Units 1 and 2 burn a lower-sulfur coal that tends to be more expensive, while the scrubber-equipped Units 4 and 5 can burn a cheaper high-sulfur coal. Unit 3 is a retired nuclear facility.

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.