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Alternative and Renewable Energy in 2015

JEA continues to look for economic opportunities to incorporate clean power and renewable energy into its power supply portfolio. To that end, JEA has been a leader in implementing several clean power and renewable energy initiatives and continues to evaluate potential new initiatives.

Progress in Clean Power Initiatives

From solar power to methane gas from landfills, JEA is committed to using more sources of renewable energy to generate electricity. JEA has made considerable progress related to clean power initiatives, including:

  • Installation of clean power systems
  • Unit efficiency improvements
  • Commitment to purchase power agreements ( including nuclear power)
  • Legislative and public education activities
  • Research into and development of clean power technologies
Greenland Energy Center
Greenland Energy Center is the newest member of the generation fleet. JEA’s electric generation fleet is diverse for good reason. We can select our generation based on the lowest cost fuel - coal, petcoke or natural gas - at any given time. Having the ability to use the lowest cost fuel saves our customers money.

JEA Solar and the Solar Incentive Program

Solar in the Community

JEA has installed 35 solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems, totaling 222 kW, on public high schools in Duval County, as well as many of JEA's facilities, and at the Jacksonville International Airport. 

Solar Water Heating Rebates and Net Metering

To further promote the acceptance and installation of solar energy systems, JEA implemented a Solar Incentive Program in early 2002. This program continues to provide rebates for the installation of solar thermal systems (solar water heating systems). In addition to the solar thermal system incentive program, JEA established a Net Metering Program to encourage the use of customer-sited solar PV systems.

JEA's Solar Portfolio

In May 2009, JEA signed a purchase power agreement with Jacksonville Solar, LLC to provide energy from a 12.6 MW (AC) rated solar farm near Baldwin, which began operation in 2010. In 2014, JEA's Board approved a Solar Photovoltaic Policy that supports up to 38 additional MW (AC) by the end of calendar year 2016. This could bring JEA's solar portfolio to 50 MW. The additional MWs will be a combination of purchase power agreements and equity ownership.

Graphic of Solar Farm

Landfill Gas and Biogas

In the past, the JEA Buckman Wastewater Treatment Plant dewatered and incinerated sludge as a part of the wastewater treatment process and disposed of the remaining ash in a landfill. The facility now manages these solids using three anaerobic digesters and a dryer to produce a pelletized biosolids fertilizer product, the highest treatment level possible.

The methane gas from the anaerobic digesters can be used as a fuel for the biosolids dryer, three hot water boilers and the on-site 800 kW generator.

JEA signed a power purchase agreement with Trail Ridge Energy, LLC (TRE) in 2006 (Phase One) and executed an amendment to the purchase power agreement in 2011 (Phase Two) to purchase up to 18 MW from a landfill gas-to-energy facilities.

Biomass

In a continuing effort to obtain cost-effective biomass generation, JEA completed a detailed feasibility study of both self-build stand-alone biomass units and the co-firing of biomass in Northside 1 and 2. The JEA self-build projects would not have been eligible for the federal tax credits afforded to private developers. The co-firing alternative for Northside 1 and 2 considered potential reliability issues associated with both of those units. Even though the price of petroleum coke has been volatile in the recent past, petroleum coke prices are still forecasted to be lower than the cost of biomass on an as-fired basis. In addition, JEA conducted an analytical evaluation of specific biomass fuel types to determine the possibility of conducting a co-firing test in Northside 1 or 2.

In 2011, JEA tested co-firing biomass in the Northside Units 1 and 2, using wood chips from JEA tree trimming activities as a biomass energy source. Northside 1 and 2 produced a total of 2,154 MWh of energy from wood chips during 2011 and 2012. JEA will continue to evaluate the use of biomass, particularly in light of new environmental regulations.

Buckman WasteWater Treatment Plant

Byproduct Management

In 2014, we successfully recycled 72 percent of the coal-combustion residuals generated at our plants.

As part of our environmental stewardship, we seek to maximize the recycling of our byproducts. In the process of generating electricity, power plants also generate byproducts such as coal-combustion residuals (CCRs), chemicals and other wastes. As part of our ongoing commitment to the environment, JEA complies with all state and federal rules for handling, recycling, and disposing of these by-products in a safe, responsible manner.

During the firing process, two byproducts are generated: fly ash and bed ash. These two ashes are sold in their dry forms as EZSorb fly and EZSorb bed. Under specific conditions, they are excellent materials that can be used to stabilize dredge spoils, solidify liquid wastes, neutralize acidic wastes, and more.

Our storage facilities for CCRs are not wet ash ponds but are dry-monitored on-site locations. In addition to storage, we also provide CCRs as products for beneficial reuse. In 2014, we successfully recycled 72 percent of the CCRs generated at our plants.

Air Quality

We continue our commitment to clean air in Northeast Florida. As a result of our ongoing commitment, JEA continues to meet all state and federal air-quality regulations.

Climate Change

JEA is committed to providing utility services according to a policy of sustainability by considering economic, social and environmental factors as they relate to the growth of our community. Climate change has become one of the most important and complex sustainability issues in the electric utility business. JEA must meet its service area’s growing energy needs while addressing variable 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 lower-carbon future.

St Johns River Image
As a not-for-profit community-owned utility, JEA recognizes its responsibility to address and be a part of the solution to climate change.

Climate change is a global issue – it must be addressed on a national and an international level. 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 dialogue. To be effective, we must understand the public policy issues of importance to JEA and our customers.

As the regulatory and legislative climate change debates advance, JEA continues to take action to prepare for a lower-carbon future, to meet our customers’ energy demands and to be in compliance with future environmental regulatory requirements. JEA’s climate action plan consists of expanded conservation, energy efficiency and demand-side management programs, increased renewable/alternative energy sources, increased gas-fired generation, and the addition of nuclear power (a non-carbon-emitting generating source) to our supply portfolio.

JEA continues to work to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy efficiency, renewable and alternative energy and a state-of-the-art power system as well as taking an active and constructive role in helping to shape effective public policy.

  • The final Clean Power Plan was released in August 2015. JEA and utility organizations will be working with the State of Florida developing the State Plan that will be the State’s compliance document. JEA initiated a community forum to discuss how the Plan will be implemented in Florida and its impact on our customers, and will hold more forums in the future.
  • JEA has diversified its generation fleet with our own natural gas and solid fuel generating facilities combined with purchased traditional power and renewables and with the pursuit of nuclear generation through purchased power. In response to the carbon dioxide regulations, JEA is engaged with utility organizations to evaluate both internally and externally the economic and environmental impacts and benefits to our customers.
  • Increased use of our natural gas plants, as a result of to low fuel cost as well as lower demand from customers due to economic drivers and continued customer conservation efforts, helps reduce our carbon dioxide emissions.