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Duke Energy Florida's coal generation share rises in December: filing

Highlights

December coal burn at 60,238 st, 4.2% of stack

Utility's coal stockpile at 554,137 st

Houston — Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, saw a coal generation mix of 4.2% in December, down from 22% expected for the month, but up from 2.9% in November, the utility said in a state regulatory filing.

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The regulated utility told the Florida Public Service Commission it burned 60,238 st of coal in December, down from 275,067 st projected to be burned during the month and 32,343 st burned in November. The latest monthly burn was up from zero in the year-ago month.

Natural gas burn was at 20.63 Bcf in December, or a 93.9% mix, compared with 20.58 Bcf, or 95.3%, in November, and 19.01 Bcf, or 99.5%, in the year-ago month.

In December, gas prices at the Florida city-gate averaged $2.736/MMBtu, up from $2.719/MMBtu in November and $2.344/MMBtu in the year-ago month, according to S&P Global Platts.

Duke Energy Florida's Crystal River coal-fired plant generated 123,947 MWh in December, up from 82,111 MWh in November and zero in the year-ago month.

Total coal burn in 2020 was at 1.56 million st, up from 1.46 million st expected for the year, but down from 1.98 million st burned in 2019. The generation mix for coal was 8.1% in 2020, down from 10.8% a year ago, while gas rose to 90% in 2020 from 88.5% in 2019.

The average fuel cost for coal was at $3.29/MMBtu in December, down from $3.38/MMBtu in November, while gas decreased to $4.23/MMBtu in December, from $4.27/MMBtu in November, but up from $4.08/MMBtu in December 2019.

Coal purchases fall on month

Coal purchases for the month totaled 211,119 st in December at an average delivered cost of $74.03/st, down from 254,298 st at $68.60/st in November, but up from 132,636 st at $70.26/st in the year-ago month. The utility bought 1.81 million st of coal in 2020, up from 1.64 million st expected for the period and 1.76 million st purchased in 2019.

At the end of December, Duke Energy Florida's coal inventory was at 554,137 st, compared with 437,355 st after November and 338,120 st in the year-ago month.