Florida Utilities Weighing Options for Clean Power Plan Compliance

 Florida Utilities Weighing Options for Clean Power Plan Compliance

Florida’s top three utilities are looking at how best to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, and the largest among them is urging a rate-based state compliance plan.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood tells Platts that the utility’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are already less than the 2030 target set by the Clean Power Plan, and “because we are in a growth state and we are a growth utility” FPL supports a rate-based program to comply with the emissions-cutting plan.

However, Gatewood tells Platts, FPL is well-positioned even if the state chooses a mass-based program because of the utility’s renewables portfolio and plans for new solar, nuclear and gas-fired projects.

A rate-based compliance plan requires states to reduce emissions to a certain level, or rate, per megawatt-hour of generated electricity, whereas a mass-based plan sets a specific cap for CO2 emissions from a state's existing power plants.

Either way, FPL may be able to trade surplus emissions rate credits with entities outside Florida since the utility's emissions rate is already below the 2030 target, but the EPA plans to allow trading only betwee rate-based states or mass-based states.

Florida’s second and third largest utilities, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric, are still looking at different approaches to Clean Power Plan compliance, reports Platts.

“At this point, it’s too early for us to recommend a specific statewide approach,” Tampa Electric spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs told Platts.

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