Florida is rapidly turning to natural gas to produce its electricity, Kallanish Energy reports.
Florida has added 16 gigawatts of utility-scale natural gas-fired electric generation between 2008 and 2018, about 24% of all U.S. natural gas installations during that time and more than any other state, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports.
During that period, electric utility net generation in Florida grew by about 15%.
The other top states for switching to natural gas for electricity are Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, California, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Nevada, the federal agency said.
Between 2008 and 2018, natural gas use in Florida’s energy mix grew from 47% to 72%, the Eia said.
50 gas-fired units
The state now has nearly 50 operating utility-scale gas-fired electric generation facilities with a total nameplate capacity of 42 gigawatts, it said.
Florida has retired 2.8 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity in that time, along with 5.1 gigawatts of petroleum liquids-fired units and 3.3 gigawatts of less-efficient natural gas-fired units, it said.
Natural gas-fired capacity additions totaled 15.7 gigawatts between 2008 and 2018, nearly all of which were natural gas combined cycle units.
Florida was the No. 3 state for electricity retails sales in 2017 and its growth in electricity sector has been among the fastest in the U.S. since 2007.
Electricity use up 15%
Between 2008 and 2018, overall net generation in Florida increased by about 15% to reach 225,000 gigawatthours.
Natural gas-fired electric generation in Florida grew from 92,600 GWh in 2008 to 163,300 GWh in 2018, a 76% increase, the Eia said.
Natural gas pipeline capacity to Florida has grown from 4.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2008 to 6.2 Bcf/d in 2018, an increase of 50%, it said. That includes the Sabol Trail pipeline that began service in 2017 and an expansion of the Gulfstream Natural Gas System in Tampa.
In the first quarter 2019, Florida got 1.8 Gw of natural gas-fired electric generation capacity, mainly from Fp&l’s 1.7 GW Okeechobee Clean Energy Center.
Two additional gas-fired projects including the Big Bend Power Station are expected to begin service by 2021.
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