ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Progress Energy Florida is issuing a request for renewables (RFR) to expand the company's renewable portfolio, to provide cost-effective renewable energy to its customers, and to offset the need for new power plants. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020923/CHM008LOGO-c ) Progress Energy wants to identify and participate in cost-competitive renewable energy to reduce Florida's dependence on fossil fuels. Progress Energy is seeking information, contacts, questions, and potential contracts from all sources. Renewable energy is a key component in the company's long- term balanced approach to meet growing energy demand, which also includes energy efficiency and state-of-the-art power plants. "We are continually looking for newer, cleaner ways to produce energy," said Jeff Lyash, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. "The continued development of renewable energy has been part of our balanced approach to meeting growing customer demand for years, and it will play a vital role in Florida's energy future." This strategy is consistent with Gov. Charlie Crist's recent executive order suggesting a 20 percent renewable portfolio standard for utilities. To be considered, renewable energy projects must: -- Use renewable fuels, such as hydrogen, biomass, solar, geothermal, wind, ocean energy, hydroelectric power, or waste heat from a commercial or industrial manufacturing process. -- Be located in Florida. -- Be fully operational by Jan. 1, 2013. -- Sell its electrical output to Progress Energy Florida at a cost equal to or below the cost to build new power plants. -- Be capable of producing at least 1 MW of electric capacity. The company will consider smaller projects under certain conditions. Contact the company for more information. -- Be capable of running in a predictable and reliable manner. In addition, the company is looking to expand its solar energy programs and is seeking prices for photovoltaics. Progress Energy will be launching its photovoltaics for schools program in August. The company also is seeking pricing for its solar-thermal water-heating initiative for residential customers. Progress Energy has two types of renewable energy contracts that have been pre-approved by the Florida Public Service Commission: as-available contract or a standard offer contract. For more information about the RFR, to learn more about the two types of contracts, or to submit information about a project, visit http://www.progress-energy.com/renewables . Last year, Progress Energy signed a contract with the Biomass Investment Group to purchase the energy output (130 MW) from the nation's largest biomass plant to be built in Central Florida. The project will reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 million tons over the 25-year life of the contract when compared to coal. Earlier this year, the company launched an innovative solar-energy initiative that offers customers rebates and incentives to install a solar- thermal water heater. Customers can save up to 85 percent on the hot-water portion of their electric bill, which equates to a savings of $200 to $300 yearly for an average family. Progress Energy offers some of the nation's most innovative and successful energy-efficiency programs. The company launched its "Save the Watts" campaign last month to raise customer awareness of programs to save money and reduce energy use. Since 1981, Progress Energy Florida customers have saved nearly $825 million in energy costs and eliminated nearly 7 million tons of carbon dioxide through participation in energy-efficiency programs. In May, Gov. Crist helped dedicate Florida's first hydrogen fueling station - a partnership between Progress Energy, Ford Motor Company, Chevron, and the state. The station is located near the Orlando International Airport and will fuel eight Ford V-10, E-450 hydrogen-powered shuttle buses. "We recognize the importance of the continued development of renewable technologies and innovative energy-efficiency programs," Lyash said. "If you are in the business of developing renewable energy technologies, we want to talk with you." Alternative energy and energy efficiency currently account for 5 percent of Progress Energy's energy portfolio. Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to nearly 1.7 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy is the 2006 recipient of the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence. In 2005, the company also received the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for dedication, commitment and sustained improvement in customer service. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at www.progress-energy.com.
SOURCE Progress Energy Florida