Florida Public Service Commission News Releases
State of Florida Public Service Commission
Commissioners Clear the Path for Innovative Commercial Biomass Plant
The five-member Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has taken a critical
step to further development of the world’s first commercial-scale power plant
fueled with crops grown on site.
The Commissioners voted to approve a petition for Progress Energy Florida (Progress)
to buy energy produced by the Florida Biomass Energy Group, LLC (Florida
Florida Biomass plans to build and operate an electric generating plant
on a 15,000-acre farm near Lake
Okeechobee. The plant will produce power
from a tall, bamboo-like grass. The crop will be grown and harvested in a continuous
cycle and converted into a liquid fuel that will be used in a traditional
combined cycle generator. The plant will also feature groundbreaking ways to
process the plant material, using unique harvesting and material-handling
systems. The biomass plant is slated to begin operation no later than December
The plant is expected to generate 116 megawatts of power, which would be
the largest amount of power generated by a renewable fuel plant in the state of
Florida. Projections indicate the energy would be slightly less expensive than
the average cost of electric power from other sources. The plant will also
contribute to the diversity of the fuel mix for electrical generation in Florida.
The agreement between Progress and Florida Biomass includes flexible
targets, since the project incorporates numerous innovative designs. Projections
for the plant indicate Progress ratepayers could see a benefit of $39 million in savings over a 25-year period.