This project will increase Chesapeake Utilities‘ footprint in Northwest Florida while complementing its natural gas, propane and electric services throughout the state. The expansion in the company’s Florida service territory means residents and businesses in Pensacola and the surrounding area will have greater access to this clean energy option.
“As our company grows throughout the state of Florida and beyond, our employees are working continuously to identify opportunities that meet the needs of customers while furthering our strategic direction,” said Michael P. McMasters, president and CEO of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. “This project is another example of our commitment, and we’re excited to expand our service in Northwest Florida to make the efficient, safe and economic option of natural gas available to more residential, commercial and industrial customers.”
“Increased access to natural gas in our community will generate significant local investment, help businesses grow and create jobs, and it will improve the quality of life for all residents,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward. “This announcement is going to allow more families and businesses across Northwest Florida to have more options on how to heat their homes and workplaces.”
Chesapeake Utilities has a long-standing history in Florida, beginning with the acquisition of Central Florida Gas Co. in 1985, followed by the acquisition of Florida Public Utilities in 2009. Currently, the Company operates in Florida through its subsidiary, Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), which services approximately 74,000 residential and commercial natural gas customers, 31,000 electric customers and 16,000 propane customers throughout Florida.
“Our team at FPU is committed to servicing our customers safely and reliably,” said Jeffry M. Householder, FPU President. “With this project, we’re able to increase the access Escambia County residents have to natural gas and we’ll do so while maintaining our high standards of service.”
Chesapeake Utilities will construct an interconnection between Pensacola Energy and Florida Gas Transmission Company’s interstate facilities. The project is a $36 million investment and is part of the company’s strategic plan to provide additional transportation and delivery services to residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout Florida and the entire Chesapeake Utilities’ service territory.
The project was reviewed and approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February, 2017, and the company will seek the required permits from local agencies before beginning construction in June, 2017. The project is expected to be placed into service the first quarter of 2018 and is projected to generate annualized margin of $5.1 million. The company is currently meeting with other third parties that have expressed an interest in natural gas service as a result of this expansion.