Florida Power & Light seeks permitting for revamped Fort Myers project

Florida Power & Light (FPL) on May 7 applied at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for air permitting on a revamped version of its plan to partially repower the Fort Myers plant in Lee County, Fla.

The existing Fort Myers Plant includes one block of 12 simple cycle gas turbines (GT1 through GT12), which began operation in May 1974. Each GT has a gross capacity of 63 MW. They are currently authorized to operate on No. 2 distillate oil and specification used oil.

The May 7 application, written by consultant Golder Associates, pointed out that FPL had planned in 2013 to bring three new combustion turbines (CTs) into service at the Fort Myers Plant to replace the 12 GTs and had submitted an Air Construction/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) application to FDEP in July 2013. A separate PSD Permit application was submitted to EPA Region 4 for Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) since FDEP did not have authority for PSD review of GHGs at the time. These applications were later withdrawn.

FPL now plans on going forward with the Fort Myers Combustion Turbine Peaker Project using two combustion turbines, not the original three. In addition, FPL has decided to keep two of the 12 existing GTs at the Fort Myers Plant for black start capability and for generation, and the black start diesel generators originally contemplated will no longer be part of the project.

This May 7 Air Construction Permit/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Application covers two nominal 200-MW CTs that will replace 10 existing GTs. The new CTs will be designated Units 3C and 3D. Decommissioning of ten of the existing GTs will occur after the new CTs are operational in order to maintain peak service capability in southwest Florida. There will be no overlap of operation between 10 of the existing GT units and the new CTs, after the new CTs become operational.

The two new CTs will be more energy efficient than the existing 10 GTs and will provide cleaner energy to FPL’s customers. For the same amount of generation, the new CTs will use 30% less fuel and have approximately 90% lower NOX emission rates. The maximum total air quality impacts for the Project are predicted to be well below existing levels and in compliance with the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for NO2. For pollutants such as NO2, the project’s total air quality impacts are predicted to be significantly (40% or more) lower than those predicted for the existing GTs.

The two new CTs being proposed for the project are the General Electric 7F.05 model. The CTs will use natural gas and ultra low sulfur distillate (ULSD) oil as fuel. ULSD oil will be used for up to the equivalent of 500 hours per year (hr/yr) per CT at base load conditions.. Natural gas will be transported to the facility via pipeline. ULSD oil will be delivered to the facility by truck and will be stored in two existing fuel oil storage tanks.

The GE 7F.05 CTs will use low-NOx combustion technology or equivalent when firing natural gas and water injection when firing ULSD oil to minimize formation of NOx. While FPL envisions that the new CTs will be operated as peaking and emergency capacity like the existing GTs, FPL is conservatively seeking permitting authority for maximum operation of 3,390 hr/yr (base load equivalent hours) for each CT of which ULSD oil usage is up to 500 hr/yr (base load equivalent hours) for each CT. This is an accepted operating assumption for permitting simple-cycle combustion turbine units in Florida.

FPL requests that the permit conditions for the CTs associated with the Fort Myers CT Peaker Project be consistent with the permit conditions for the Lauderdale CT Peaker Project, which was covered by an April 9 permit application. The CTs for Lauderdale and Fort Myers projects are the same model (GE 7F.05) with only minor differences in physical characteristics (i.e., stack height) and performance (slight difference in mass flow due to stack and internals).

FPL pursuing somewhat similar capacity addition at Lauderdale plant

That April 9 application covers the existing Lauderdale Plant in Broward County, Florida. The plant now includes two banks of 12 simple cycle gas turbines (GTs) (GT1 through GT12 and GT13 through GT24). GT Units 1 through 12 began operation in 1970, and the commercial in-service dates for GT Units 13 through 24 were in 1972. Each bank of GTs has a nominal net capacity of 504 MW. GT Units 1 through 24 are authorized to operate on natural gas and distillate oil.

These existing 24 GTs located in Broward County are first generation GTs that are used to serve peak and emergency demands in a quick-start manner. Each unit consists of two aeroderivative GTs coupled with a single gas flow driven turbine-electric generator. These units have low stack heights and relatively high SO2 emission rates when firing distillate oil and high NOX emissions rates when firing natural gas and oil, as is typical of these older generation units.

FPL planned in 2013 to bring five new CTs into service at Lauderdale Plant to replace 34 of the existing GTs at Lauderdale and its Port Everglades plant. It submitted an Air Construction/prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) application to the Florida DEP in August 2013. A separate PSD Permit application was submitted to EPA Region 4 for Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) since FDEP did not have authority for PSD review of GHGs at the time. FDEP issued a permit in April 2014 for the project but without authorization for GHGs. The GHG PSD application submitted to EPA was withdrawn since FDEP was seeking approval from EPA for authority for PSD approval for GHGs.

FPL now plans on going forward with the project using specific combustion turbines. In addition, FPL has decided to keep two of the existing GTs at the Lauderdale Plant for black start capability and for generation, and black start diesel generators authorized by FDEP in the 2014 Air Construction/PSD Permit will no longer be part of the project.

The revamped Lauderdale project consists of five General Electric 7F.05 CTs and supporting equipment. These five CTs will be located at the Lauderdale Plant and will be referred to as the Lauderdale CT Project. The new CTs will be designated Units 6A through 6E. Retiring and dismantlement of the existing GTs will occur after new CTs are operational in order to maintain peak service capability in south Florida. Following commercial operation of the project, there will be no overlap of operation between the existing 22 GTs that will be decommissioned and the new CTs after the project is complete.

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.