FPL natural-gas pipeline would run through 14 Florida counties
Meeting scheduled in Volusia County for public input
Ludmilla Lelis, Sentinel Staff Writer
Florida Power & Light’s proposal to build a $1.588 billion natural-gas pipeline through 14 counties will be discussed at a public meeting Monday in Volusia County.
The state’s largest electric utility wants to bury 300 miles of steel pipeline through 14 counties, including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia and Brevard, to provide natural gas to FPL plants in Brevard and Palm Beach counties.
The pipeline, originating in Bradford County, would feed 600 million cubic feet per day of natural gas for the plants, which are being converted from oil-burning to natural-gas-fired plants.
Most of the pipeline, about 30 inches in diameter, would be buried alongside the existing high-powered overhead transmission lines. However, to bury the line, the company said it will need a corridor about a third of a mile wide during the year-long construction.
Volusia officials wanted the meeting to inform people about the potential project, though people can also comment at more upcoming meetings. Volusia County Engineer Gerald Brinton said the county hasn’t had any public input yet, but county officials have some questions about safety and environmental issues during construction.
The company has said the pipeline is needed to supply natural gas for its plants and that the project would lead to cost savings for its rate-payers. The new plants will be cleaner and more efficient, the company says, and the project will create construction jobs and generate property tax revenue for the counties involved.
An administrative law judge has scheduled a hearing in April, and the governor and Cabinet could vote on the pipeline corridor in August 2010.
The meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Osteen Civic Center, 165 New Smyrna Blvd.
Representatives from the utility and the state Department of Environmental Protection will answer questions.
Ludmilla Lelis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-253-0964.