FPL fields questions about proposed 300-mile natural gas pipeline
By Alex Tiegen
Representatives of Florida Power & Light Co. will be on hand to receive public input on a proposed 300-mile natural gas pipeline at two meetings on the Treasure Coast in the next few days.
Earlier this month, the state’s largest utility announced a proposal to build a $1.5 billion pipeline that could produce $102 million in tax revenue over 40 years for the three Treasure Coast counties and could generate 7,500 jobs for the entire project, 3,500 of which are in construction.
The natural gas line would extend north to Bradford County from FPL’s Martin Plant in Indiantown, with a proposed lateral line from the Martin Plant to the FPL facility in Riviera Beach. It would extend through 14 counties on Florida’s east coast, including St. Lucie and Indian River, before arriving at a natural gas receipt station in Bradford.
At the meetings, the first of which was held Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, FPL representatives are setting up displays and answering questions from the public about the project. The meetings are open houses where the public can come and go freely.
“The route we have now is a proposed route, so we’re interested” in getting the input of those who live near it, said FPL spokeswoman Jackie Anderson.
Houston-based Floridian Natural Gas Storage Co. has plans to construct a $600 million above-ground natural gas storage facility. The project stalled when FPL declined to lease storage space in the tanks.
Anderson said leasing space from Floridian Natural Gas Storage would result in too heavy a cost to FPL customers. The EnergySecure Line pipeline is the best alternative, she said.
J. Bradley “Brad” Williams, a principal of Floridian Natural Gas, said the company’s two storage tanks could complement the new pipeline if FPL would invest in them.
“Since they’ll have so much spare pipeline, it should open the door for them to utilize storage,” Williams said.
ABOUT THE PIPELINE
What: Informational meetings on proposed Florida Power & Light Pipeline
• 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Best Western Hotel on State Road 60, Vero Beach
• 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Indiantown Civic Center, Indiantown