Florida Utilities Consider Joint Plant Operations to Save Electricity Costs
TAMPA, June 13, 2017
Tampa Electric Co. is evaluating whether to contribute its power generation to a pilot project with three Florida municipal electric utilities, which currently operate as the Florida Municipal Power Pool (FMPP), in an effort to reduce electricity costs for all customers.
FMPP was formed in 1988 by the Orlando Utilities Commission, Lakeland Electric and Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), a wholesale power supplier to 13 municipal electric utilities. FMPP is always mindful of opportunities to increase member savings through collaborations with other utilities and has sought similar partnerships over the years.
Utilities in the pool operate their combined generating resources as if they were one utility. Electricity demand forecasts are prepared each day for the pool, and generating units are scheduled to go on- and off-line in the most efficient combination to produce electricity at the lowest possible cost.
The FMPP Energy Control Center is responsible for dispatching the pool’s 51 power generators, which are capable of producing approximately 4,700 megawatts (MW). If the pilot project determines the expansion of the pool is feasible, and Tampa Electric joins FMPP, the size of the pool would double, adding 4,800 MW from 17 generators.
“Last year, the pool saved electric customers more than $45 million,” said Tom Reedy, Executive Director of FMPP. “We believe that adding Tampa Electric would produce additional savings.”
The current FMPP members will discuss the potential pool expansion at governing board meetings in June. No timetable has been set for a final decision.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 730,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.