Houston — Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, saw a coal generation mix of 16.1% in February, down from 20.1% expected for the month, but up from 8% in January, the utility said in a state regulatory filing.
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The regulated utility told the Florida Public Service Commission it burned 176,141 st of coal in February, down from 231,478 st projected to be burned during the month, but up from 113,514 st in January. The latest monthly burn was up from zero in the year-ago month.
Natural gas burn was at 15.14 Bcf in February, or an 80.9% mix, compared with 19.75 Bcf, or 90.3%, in January, and 18.63 Bcf, or 98.7%, in the year-ago month.
In February, Florida city-gate gas prices averaged a three-year high $4.835/MMBtu, up from $2.754/MMBtu in January and $2.007/MMBtu in the year-ago month, according to S&P Global Platts. It was the second-highest monthly average in the last six-and-a-half years, only lower than $5.203/MMBtu in January 2018.
Duke Energy Florida's Crystal River coal-fired plant generated 409,436 MWh in February, up from 243,140 MWh in January and zero in the year-ago month.
Average fuel cost for coal was at $3.34/MMBtu in February, down from $3.36/MMBtu in January, while gas rose to $4.44/MMBtu, up from $4.01/MMBtu in January and $3.41/MMBtu in February 2020.
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. Generation mix for coal was 8.1% in 2020, down from 10.8% a year ago, while gas rose to 90% in 2020, up from 88.5% in 2019.
Coal purchases decline on month
Coal purchases for the month totaled 112,534 st in February at an average delivered cost of $69.34/st, down from 169,077 st at $84.59/st in January.
At the end of February, Duke Energy Florida's coal inventory was at 546,093 st, or 87 days of supply, down from 609,700 st, or 167 days cover, in January.