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FMPA BREAKS GROUND ON RELIABLE, EFFICIENT NEW POWER PLANT

11/09/2005 ~ The Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) broke ground Monday on the construction of its newest power resource, a modern, high-efficiency power plant in Key West, Fla.

“Today’s groundbreaking is an important milestone in FMPA’s plans to continue providing reliable, affordable power to our growing member communities,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Roger Fontes.

FMPA is a wholesale power agency owned by municipal electric utilities. FMPA supplies all the power needs of 15 communities including the lower Florida Keys, Bushnell, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Jacksonville Beach, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Leesburg, Newberry, Ocala, Starke and Vero Beach.

The new power plant will be owned by FMPA and operated by Keys Energy Services (KEYS), the municipal electric utility serving Key West and the lower Florida Keys. The new generator will be a 42 MW low sulfur oil-fired combustion turbine, located at KEYS’ Stock Island Generating Facility.

The new plant is expected to enhance electric reliability for all of FMPA’s customers, especially residents of Key West. Maintaining reliability is a special challenge in Key West, which is connected to the mainland by a 120-mile high voltage transmission line. The tie-line gives KEYS access to low-cost power from FMPA’s statewide power resources, but it can be vulnerable to damage from severe weather.

When KEYS began purchasing all its wholesale power from FMPA in 1998, FMPA pledged to maintain on-island generation equivalent to 60% of KEYS customers’ electrical demand. On-island generation enables KEYS to continue serving most of its customers even if the tie-line is out of service.

The new unit will also support the reliability of Florida’s statewide transmission grid. The unit will provide power mostly during times of peak demand, and it can do so as much as 20% more efficiently than some of the units currently serving that “peaking” function. This plant also can be started quickly, so it can be called on when power is urgently needed to keep electricity flowing over the entire transmission system.

“A combustion turbine plant provides flexibility to efficiently and reliably meet customers’ demand for power, as it varies with the weather or hour of the day,” said Fontes. “This efficient, new peaking resource will be an important part of FMPA’s statewide power supply mix.”

Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 29 municipal electric utilities. FMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities. The members of FMPA serve approximately 1.8 million Floridians. FMPA’s members include Alachua, Bartow, Bushnell, Chattahoochee, Clewiston, Fort Meade, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Green Cove Springs, Havana, Homestead, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Lakeland, Leesburg, Moore Haven, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, Newberry, Ocala, Orlando, Quincy, St. Cloud, Starke, Vero Beach, Wauchula and Williston. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.fmpa.com.

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