Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) today denied Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) petition of need for the construction of a new underground natural gas pipeline in Florida and ordered the project to be rebid.
Prior to its decision on the petition of need, the PSC denied the petition of Florida Gas Transmission, LLC (FGT) to terminate FPL's pipeline proposal case before the Commission. FGT, the state's largest natural gas transmission provider, requested that the PSC dismiss the pipeline need determination request "because of the appearance of impropriety and identified prejudice of some Commission staff members."
The Commission determined that FGT's request was without merit because it relied on an Inspector General’s report that specifically found no staff bias. Further, the PSC staff recommendation provided both primary and alternate recommendations on the most controversial case issues, providing a number of options for the Commission to consider.
“The PSC determined that FPL did not prove that its EnergySecure Pipeline is the most cost-effective alternative and is in the best interest of Florida’s ratepayers,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “We understand the need for supply diversity and long-term natural gas reliability, but it must be accomplished in a cost-effective manner.”
Florida EnergySecure Pipeline, 30-inches in diameter and approximately 280 miles in length, was proposed for construction in the eastern portion of the state from Martin County to Bradford County and would have been operational by January 2014.
After thorough review and discussion, the Commission determined that FPL did not show the proposed project was the most cost-effective and reliable source of natural gas supply, transport, and delivery.
In denying FPL’s petition, the PSC weighed several factors, including the availability of existing pipeline capacity and whether the proposed pipeline was the most cost-effective and reliable source of natural gas supply, transport, and delivery. The Commission also considered whether the pipeline was needed to increase Florida’s supply of natural gas to meet planned needs and to help protect access to the supply of natural gas and the electric generation it supports.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.