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Fla. regulators approve FPL purchase of Indiantown cogen plant

Florida regulators Oct. 3 approved 'srequest to purchase a 330-MW coal plant, with plans to retire it and exit acostly power contract.

In June, FPLannounced plans to purchase the Indiantown facility in Martin County, Fla., for$451 million, including debt, from subsidiaries of Upon takingownership of the plant, FPL intends to cut its operations and eventually retireit, a move the NextEra EnergyInc. subsidiary said will save customers between $100 million and$151 million over the next nine years. FPL is under contract to buy all ofIndiantown's output through 2025, and the utility said retiring it early willprevent more than 657,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The Florida Public Service Commission had set aside two daysfor hearings on the plant acquisition, but approved the deal the morning of thefirst day. A partial stipulationfiled Sept. 20 between FPL, the Office of Public Counsel and theFlorida Industrial Power Users Group allowed for faster consideration. "Today, all parties agreed that a streamlined hearingprocess was in the best interest of FPL's customers," Commissioner LisaEdgar said in a news release. "Based on the evidence provided, thispurchase will result in significant savings for customers."

FPL followed a when itacquired the 250-MW CedarBay coal plant from TheCarlyle Group LLC for $520.5 million, with plans to eventuallyretire the asset and exit an expensive contract. (Florida Docket No. 160154)