Moving Toward Cleaner Energy
JEA continues its strategy to increase the amount of cleaner energy. We have retired and modernized older, less efficient fossil generation facilities. Our solid fuel generating units are equipped with best available environmental controls to lower air pollutant emissions. We have constructed state-of –the art, efficient, clean generation natural gas power plants. We have contracted a purchase power agreement for zero-emissions nuclear energy. JEA signed a purchase power agreement to receive 206 MWs of energy from a nuclear facility commencing in 2016. In addition, JEA continues to pursue additional potential nuclear purchased power and ownership agreements. We continue to increase our renewable energy portfolio.
Climate Change Initiatives
Climate change has become one of the most important and complex sustainability issues in the electric utility business. As a not-for-profit community-owned utility, JEA recognizes our responsibility to address and be a part of the solution to climate change. JEA must meet our service area’s growing energy needs while addressing increasing fuel costs, affordable energy pricing, conservation and energy efficiency. JEA is working hard to find solutions that make technological, environmental and economic sense as we continually improve environmental performance and prepare for a low-carbon future.
Climate change is a global issue – it must be addressed on a national and international levels. JEA encourages an economy-wide, market-based and price-sensitive approach to address climate change. JEA is actively involved at all levels of the energy and climate dialog. To be effective, we must understand the public policy issues of importance to JEA and our customers.
JEA’s climate action plan consists of expanded conservation, energy efficiency and demand-side management (customer incentives that encourage conservation) programs, increased renewable/alternative energy sources, increased gas-fired generation, and the addition of nuclear power (a non-emitting generating source) to our supply portfolio.
JEA communicates and provides information to the community regarding what consumers can do to conserve energy in their residences and business.
Demand Side Management (DSM)
JEA’s energy-efficiency programs reduce carbon emissions by offering customers incentives to use efficient lighting and appliances.
JEA has established a voluntary goal to have at least 7.5 percent or 315 megawatts of summer peak capacity generated from clean or green sources by 2015. Our current renewable program includes the following:
- Solar Photo-voltaic (PV) – JEA has installed solar PV systems on public buildings such as local high schools, universities and at the Jacksonville International Airport
- Solar PV Purchase Power – JEA, through a purchase power agreement, receives energy from a 15 MW solar farm located in the JEA service area.
- Solar Thermal – JEA has a solar water heater rebate program
- Wind – JEA has a 10 MW share of a wind farm in Nebraska through a purchase power agreement with a municipal utility in Nebraska.
- Landfill Gas – JEA receives energy from a 9.6 MW landfill gas-to-energy facility through a purchase power agreement and uses landfill gas for energy production from two other local closed landfills
- Wastewater Treatment Biogas – JEA is producing and using the biogas from its wastewater treatment facility to generate electricity.
- Biomass – JEA co-fires biomass in the utility’s Northside Generating Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) units.
Additional Gas-fired Generation
In 2011, construction was completed on JEA’s Greenland Energy Center which includes two 175-megawatt natural gas-fired combustion turbines that can be converted to combined cycle generation.
Efficient Power Plants
JEA invested in turbine upgrades at an existing solid-fuel facility which increased JEA’s generating capacity with no increase in heat input, steam generation or air emissions. JEA also retired older inefficient plants, replacing them with newer technologies and more efficient, cleaner generating units.
JEA has established a target of 10 percent of JEA’s energy requirements to be met with nuclear energy no later than 2018, and 30 percent no later than 2030. JEA has signed a purchase power agreement to receive 206 MWs of energy from a nuclear facility commencing in 2016. In addition, JEA continues to pursue additional potential purchased power and ownership agreements.
Greenhouse gas reduction. Many chemical compounds found in the Earth’s atmosphere act as greenhouse gases. These gases allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely. When sunlight strikes the Earth’s surface, some of it is re-radiated toward space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared radiation and trap the heat in the atmosphere. Many gases exhibit these greenhouse properties. Some of them occur in nature (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide), while others are exclusively human made (certain industrial gases). Over time, if atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases remain relatively stable, the amount of energy sent from the sun to the Earth’s surface should be about the same as the amount of energy radiated back into space, leaving the temperature of the Earth’s surface roughly constant.
Greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy legislation, combined with related uncertainties, will have a direct impact on the planning and determination for JEA’s future electric generation and associated increased energy costs to the customer. JEA’s proactive philosophy includes pursuing available options, including conservation, energy efficiency, demand-side management and alternative generation, leading to timely and economical compliance with possible renewable electricity standards and CO2 emission reductions. While we cannot determine the actual impact to our customers in the uncertain legislation climate, JEA will continue to assess its investment decisions to avoid or defer projects or activities that would have a material adverse economic impact and/or add material incremental cost on the Electric System resulting in a direct impact to our customers.