Thursday, December 14, 2017
Opinion

Column: Duke Energy coverage tells only half the story

Editor's Note: Duke Energy Florida president Alex Glenn responds to Sunday's news article, "Duke eager to build, not buy, power plants," and Tuesday's editorial, "Duke's plans should face real scrutiny."

Duke Energy Florida considers all options when determining the best way to provide safe, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sound electricity for our customers.

Earlier this year, the company proposed building a state-of-the-art, highly efficient combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County. The 1,640-megawatt (MW) plant would begin serving customers in 2018. Construction and related activities are expected to add several million dollars to the local tax base. During the height of construction, 600 to 700 jobs are expected to be created.

To meet customers' energy needs starting in 2016, as identified in Duke's 10-year site plan, the company also plans to build two generators and upgrade four units, which will increase efficiency and power output during the hot summer months. By 2017, these upgrades will add about 220 megawatts and allow for the retirement of two 1950s-vintage steam plants on the Suwannee River. The 2018 Citrus County plant will also allow for the retirement of half of our coal-fired fleet in Florida. If approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, the projects will benefit customers by ensuring reliable service and efficiency while reducing emissions.

Sunday's Times article suggests Duke Energy should buy older, existing plants instead of building new, highly efficient plants to meet customer needs.

Take for example, the Osprey Plant, which was a focus of the article. The plant is owned by once bankrupt, out-of-state Calpine Energy Corp. Calpine recently sold all of its power plants in the Southeastern United States, except one — its Osprey plant. Why was this plant not included in the sale? One reason is that the plant is effectively an electrical island. Access to the power generated at the Osprey plant would require, at a minimum, an additional $150 million investment and roughly three years to build the transmission lines needed.

The three plant owners referenced in the article did not dispute that Duke Energy Florida has a need for an additional 2,000 MW through 2018. Furthermore, even if the plants were cost effective, they would still not fully meet this need.

Several critics were consulted for the article — one of whom has been a paid witness against Duke Energy in a number of previous cases. The result is quotes that are unfounded in fact and articles that are misleading to readers who deserve unbiased reporting.

Solutions seem simple when you don't have to take responsibility for considering every factor in ensuring nearly 4 million Floridians, who call this area home, have sufficient, cost-effective energy 24/7.

Telling only half a story leaves readers uninformed, and when the story is about planning for a secure energy future for Florida, we feel it's especially important that opinions aren't formed in the dark.

Alex Glenn is state president of Duke Energy Florida.

Comments
Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

Josephine "Joey" Gay should have celebrated her 12th birthday this week. She should have been surrounded by friends and family in a place festooned with purple, her favorite color.Chase Kowalski should have been working toward a Boy Scout merit badge...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

THANK YOU, Alabama.In Tuesday’s special election, the state by a narrow margin chose to spare the nation the indignity of seating an accused child molester in the U.S. Senate. Though the stain of electing Republican Roy Moore would have sullied Alaba...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Published: 12/12/17

Another voice: Privacy in the internet age

How much information about you is on your cellphone? Likely the most intimate details of your life: photographs, internet searches, text and email conversations with friends and colleagues. And though you might not know it, your phone is constantly c...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Confronted with documentation of sanctioned brutality and sexual abuse in Florida’s juvenile detention centers, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was defensive and obtuse. So it’s welcome news that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over state’s rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week won’t make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, it’s obvious that Jeff Vinik’s plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17