Gainesville Regional Utilities presented their generation transition plan.

Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 12:01 AM EST
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Gainesville regional utilities presented a plan to buy electricity from Florida Power and Light.

The GRU general manager for utilities, Ed Bielarski presented the generation transition plan with FPL. It includes a 30 year signed agreement with FPL where GRU would pay an annual fee of approximately $9 million. Wanting to make a more informed decision, the commission will take more time to consider.

After the presentation was over, commissioners said whatever negative consequences of the plan there might be weren't addressed. Bielarski went over transitioning from fossil fuels, working off the GRU's debt and the positive impact on the Gainesville community.

Resident Debbie Martinez agreed with the decision to hold off.

"and I'm glad that they decided to wait three weeks to get more information from GRU executives and the public because this is a serious matter and it was brought upon us at the last minute."

The plan is titled the hybrid solution which means the GRU won't be bought out by FPL but would primarily using its power. Current costs to operate GRU were compared against the costs to interconnect with FPL.

Bielarski added, "it's about community, it's about customers and it's about the company. We're looking as a company to pay down our debt, we need to come up with a new approach to be able to pay down debt. We need to take care of our customers by reducing rate pressure and as a community, we need to lessen our reliance on fossil fuels."

According to Bielarski, approval of the generation transition plan could mean lower utility costs, a move towards green energy and eventually lowering GRU's debt. Questions and concerns from the commission and public led to the three-week pause on the plan.

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