Florida Power & Light pipeline hearing Wednesday in Keystone Heights
By Beth Reese Cravey Story
Florida Power & Light Co. will hold an informational open house Wednesday in Keystone Heights about a proposed 300-mile underground natural gas pipeline that will run from Palm Beach County to Bradford County.
The open house is 4-8 p.m at the Women’s Club of Keystone Heights, 6747 Womans Club Drive.
The Florida EnergySecure Line is expected to create thousands of construction jobs and generate millions of dollars in new property taxes for 14 counties, according to a FP&L news release.
The utility has filed its pipeline proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission, saying it is necessary "to meet increasing demand for natural gas as a clean fuel for generating electricity while helping to diversify and secure the state’s access to natural gas supplies," according to the release.
“We are continuing to invest in diversifying our fuel sources through expansion of nuclear capacity and through new solar power generation, but natural gas is our most important source of fuel and an essential ingredient in a clean energy future for the state of Florida,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera, in the release.
“Because of this, we must take the appropriate steps necessary to diversify and protect our natural gas supply, in the same way we are investing in our electrical infrastructure to ensure we can continue to deliver affordable, reliable, clean energy in the decades ahead. The Florida EnergySecure Line will go a long way toward ensuring we have access to clean natural gas when and where we need it across the Florida peninsula, while also delivering a positive impact on jobs and the economy in our state,” he said in the release.
The company’s proposal calls for the Florida EnergySecure Line to enter into service as early as 2014. The project is expected to generate sales and use taxes paid by FPL of about $20 million during the construction period. In addition, the pipeline is expected to generate new property taxes of more than $400 million for Clay and 13 other Florida counties it runs through over its projected 40-year lifespan, according to the release.
Based on the initial proposal, about 90 percent of the pipeline would use existing rights-of-way associated with utilities, roads or railroads.
For more information, go to http://www.fpl.com/environment/lines/energysec.shtml.
The Keystone Heights hearing is part of a comprehensive public outreach process to help the company make a final route selection, according to the release.