An analyst on a leading stock blog confirms what we’ve been saying for years: there is no need for Sabal Trail’s fracked methane pipeline. Instead, Sabal Trail is taking gas away from FGT and Gulfstream. The article does not mention all those LNG export operations right where this pipeline chain goes. It does get to the heart of what even FPL admits:
“The challenge is natural gas in Florida faces growing competition from residential, commercial and utility scale solar resources as well as power forecasts that are revising lower despite a growing population and customer counts….”
BTU Analytics, SeekingAlpha, 20 June 2017, Sabal Trail Adding Pipeline Capacity But Not Demand,
- Florida natural gas market is mostly now served by Florida Gas Transmission (FGT), Gulfstream and now Sabal Trail.
- Natural gas in Florida faces growing competition from residential, commercial and utility scale solar resources as well as power forecasts that are revising lower despite a growing population.
- Total natural gas demand in Florida is off 4% or 162 MMcf/d; peak levels of 4.5 Bcf/d seen in summer 2016 have not been reached in summer 2017.
The article graphs Florida energy use down and demand growth greatly slowed (follow the link to see those graphs). Then it says:
In addition, according to FPL’s 10 Year Power Plant Site Plan issued in 2017, solar PV is only set to steal more market share from gas. According to the plan, in FPL’s territory in 2016 solar tripled from 110 MW to 333 MW by year end 2016. FPL also added a significant amount of new solar generation to its forecasted supply of generation capacity. FPL states it plans to add 2,086 MW of PV solar through 2023 starting in 2017 with adding 298 MW per year—which would represent a double of 2016 year-end levels.
Solar PVs impact to natural gas demand in Florida may already be showing up in the pipeline flow data as shown below. Florida natural gas demand peaks in the summer driven by power burn for cooling demand. Summer to date 2017, deliveries off FGT and Gulfstream, and including the addition of Sabal Trail last week, show that total natural gas demand in Florida is off 4% or 162 MMcf/d. Meanwhile the peak levels of 4.5 Bcf/d seen in summer 2016 have not been reached in summer 2017.
Follow the link to see those graphs.
Remember Sabal Trail’s repeated excuse for why it must go into service in May 2017 (and then in June 2017)? To meet Florida peak summer demand. Well, well. WWALS told FERC peak summer demand was already met with existing electricity, yet FERC authorized Sabal Trail to go in service anyway. And now we have hard evidence because Sabal Trail is pumping gas that there is no need for Sabal Trail.
The writer remarks: “I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.”
I do own stock in Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), which owns Solar City, which finances and sells solar panels in many places including Florida, because I prefer to bet on the winner.
Look who else likes solar power: the parent company of Florida Power & Light (FPL). Michael Fitzsimmons, SeekingAlpha, 8 June 2017, NextEra Energy Partners: Green Energy Will Succeed Despite Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Accord.
As you can see from the above map, NextEra Energy Partners (NEP) does still own some pipelines in Texas, but that’s not what NEP is buying. NEP is buying wind and solar projects all over the U.S. and Canada. More than two years ago NextEra unloaded its Oklahoma fracking shale basin onto FPL. FPL, whose ratepayers are stuck with the $3.2 or $4 billion bill for FSC, Sabal Trail, and Transco’s Hillabee Expansion Project.
Do you get the feeling that NextEra knows solar and wind are the future and is leaving FPL holding the fossil fuel stranded assets of pipelines and fracking?
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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