Florida Southeast Connection, LLC (FSC) has proposed to build and operate a new underground natural gas lateral pipeline to transport natural gas from the main, 126-mile FSC pipeline in central Florida to a new Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) power plant currently under construction in Okeechobee County, Florida. Upon receiving all needed permits and approvals, FSC’s planned 5.2-mile Okeechobee Lateral Pipeline will transport fuel to the FPL Okeechobee Clean Energy Center, which is scheduled to commence operations in June 2019.
The planned lateral pipeline route is located entirely in northern Okeechobee County and runs from the Florida Southeast Connection Pipeline, located just west of U.S. Highway 441, to the FPL power plant site, located to the east near State Road 60 (see map). The current schedule calls for pipeline construction to begin in June 2018 to ensure the flow of gas by September 2018.
FPL will use fuel from the lateral pipeline to help meet the growing energy needs of central and south Florida. The company’s Okeechobee facility will power more than 300,000 homes and businesses. FPL estimates the new plant will also produce substantial economic benefits for the local area, including hundreds of construction jobs and more than $230 million in new tax revenues for the county, school district and other taxing authorities.
FSC’s planned Okeechobee Lateral Pipeline will be regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency of the U.S. government that will oversee the comprehensive federal review and permitting process. FSC has engaged in discussions with property owners along the pipeline route regarding the acquisition of an easement across the portion of their properties needed for pipeline construction and operations.