Gas continues to displace coal in Florida: EIA

THE US state of Florida added nearly 16 gigawatts of utility-scale gas-fired electric generation between 2008 and 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration, amounting to about a quarter of all US gas installation over the decade.
Gas continues to displace coal in Florida: EIA Gas continues to displace coal in Florida: EIA Gas continues to displace coal in Florida: EIA Gas continues to displace coal in Florida: EIA Gas continues to displace coal in Florida: EIA

Fastest growing gas electricity sector in the country, but how long will the US gas boom last?

Mark Tilly

Journalist

It comes off the back of the current gas boom in the US, with gas deliveries to US facilities producing LNG for export setting a record last month, averaging six billion cubic feet per day of the total US dry gas production.
 
The US has taken the lead in global petroleum and gas production. 
 
EIA analysis states electric utility net generation in Florida grew about 15%, increasing gas's share of the in-state generation fuel mix from nearly 47% to 72% of the total. 
 
In the first quarter of 2019, 1.8GW of gas fired electric generator capacity came online in the state, mainly from the 1.7GW Okeechobee Clean Energy Centre. 
 
The administration forecasts gas generation capacity to continue to grow, displacing more emissions-intensive and less cost competitive generation fuels such as coal and petroleum. 
 
Florida's electric power sector includes nearly 50 operating utility-scale gas-fired electric generation facilities with  total nameplate capacity of 42GW, 40% of which was constructed between 2008 and 2018 adding 15.7GW combined-cycle units. 
 
The administration highlights these electric utility additions have more than offset retirements of 5.1 GW from petroleum liquids-fired units, 2.8GW from conventional coal-fired units, 3.3GW from less-efficient gas-fired units, and 900 megawatts from other retirements.
 
The state had among the highest growth in its electricity sector across the country, with overall net generation increasing by about 15% to reach 225,000 gigawatt hours, with gas increasing by 76% to 163,000GWh over the period. 
 
The administration said gas pipelines have kept pace with gas fire generation in the state, with pipeline delivery capacity to Florida increasing from 4.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2008 to 6.2 Bcfpd in 2018, up 50%. 
 
Two additional projects totalling more than 900MW of nameplate capacity are scheduled to enter into service by 2021.
 
However the boom in new investment in gas production could be in peril according to a report from the US research group Rocky Mountain Institute, which suggests the rapidly reducing cost of wind, solar and storage will undercut gas the same way gas did coal by 2035.