Without question, your electric service is supported by an extensive, robust and well-maintained infrastructure that distributes power generated by our wholesale power provider, Seminole Electric Cooperative. Like SECO Energy, Seminole is a not-for-profit cooperative owned collectively by nine Florida electric distribution cooperatives.
Each distribution co-op’s CEO serves on the Seminole Board – myself included. In addition, select Trustees from each distribution co-op’s board have seats on the Seminole Board. Our Trustee representatives on the Seminole Board are President and District 4 Trustee Richard Dennison and District 8 Trustee Bill James.
In late September 2017, Seminole announced its plan to build a new, natural gas-fired generating plant next to the existing Seminole Generating Station (SGS) facility in Putnam County. This new, highly efficient generation facility is currently named the Seminole Combined Cycle Facility or SCCF. The new generating capacity is approximately 1,050 megawatts (MW).
The new SCCF plant is on schedule and budget. The major components of the plant have been delivered to the site, and construction is 50% complete. Seminole projects the plant to be commercially operational in the fall of 2022. Construction has continued through the COVID-19 pandemic, with personnel ensuring that work moves forward safely.
When Seminole’s plan to build SCCF was first announced, the board decided to take the environmentally friendly step to shutter one of its coal-fired units at the SGS facility once construction of the new natural gas-fired plant is complete.
Seminole is also taking steps to add a higher mix of renewable energy into its fuel portfolio. The cooperative will add 300 MW of additional solar power to its fuel mix by entering into purchased power agreements. Removing the SGS coal-fired unit from service and the addition of the 300 MW of solar, Seminole projects that it will decrease its carbon dioxide emissions in 2024 by 48% from 2005 levels.
Florida’s population is growing. According to the U.S. Census, between 2010 and 2020, Florida’s population grew from 18.8 million to 21.5 million. The growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Sumter County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Florida.
In fact, The Villages recently earned the title as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the nation over the last decade per new 2020 census data with a Sumter County growth rate of 39%. Lake and Marion counties’ growth rates continue to climb at 29% and 13%, respectively. Stocking ever-more-expensive and hard-to-procure construction material to build new and maintain existing electric infrastructure is daunting in today’s economic environment as we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic.
SECO Energy and Seminole must work together to plan for future energy supplies to meet the growing demand for safe, affordable energy.
ADVICE FROM THE OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC
With winter fast approaching, Florida will soon be welcoming our human snowbirds and our annual aviary migrating snowbirds, too. Read on for interesting facts about avian migration from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Some migrating birds plump up for maximum energy in preparation for a long flight. In other birds, their reproductive organs shrink to trim excess weight while hemoglobin in their blood increases for aerobic efficiency. Other changes happen too. New feathers grow to improve flight efficiency; these feathers are often less colorful than the birds’ summer feathers. Every avian order has a long-distance migrator. No matter what time of the year, there are always birds on the move.
Read this month’s Florida Fauna and Flora to learn more about the American kestrel.
SURGE MITIGATOR HELPS AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
The American Cancer Society is on a mission to free the world from cancer. You can help too by enrolling in SECO Energy’s Surge MitiGator surge protection product. From October 1 until November 15, for every new MitiGator lease or purchase, SECO’s Pennies from Heaven program will donate $5 to the American Cancer Society.
Take the bite out of damaging surges and spikes with our Surge MitiGator. Surges are often associated with lightning, but other causes are vehicles crashing into SECO poles, small animals and birds contacting SECO lines or falling trees. Household appliances and sensitive electronics such as televisions and computers can be damaged or destroyed by power surges and also require point-of-use devices for adequate protection.
Our made in the USA meter-based surge arrester helps prevent unnecessary financial loss by reducing surges BEFORE they enter your home through the meter. The MitiGator has a beastly 15-year warranty and is designed to protect your home’s large-motor appliances.
You can lease the MitiGator for only $5.95 plus tax per month plus a $25 installation fee. The purchase price ranges from $349 to $399, with installation included.
October is breast cancer awareness month, so the timing is perfect to aid cancer research and support cancer patients by enrolling in SECO Energy’s Surge MitiGator surge protection product. To enroll, visit SECOEnergy.com.
AREA LIGHT OUT?
Report an area light outage or malfunction online through LightFinder on our StormCenter platform. Whether the light is always on, completely off or flickering, you can report the malfunction 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – even on weekends.
To report an area light issue, visit SECOEnergy.com > StormCenter and choose LightFinder. Enter the pole number or closest address in the search bar in the upper left. Each light is represented by a lightbulb icon. Green indicates the light is working, and a red icon is a light that has already been reported as malfunctioning. If the icon is orange, it has been repaired in the last 24 hours. Inactive lights are represented by a gray icon and a blue icon is a member-owned light.
Complete the short reporting form and submit your email address to receive updates about the light’s repair status. Most area light issues are repaired within 24 hours.
Engage with our virtual assistant Electra on the phone for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Winners who self-served using Electra are:
Donna Vail from Ocala
Jennifer Mears from Webster
Richard Reddy from Deland
Jane Lomont from Clermont
The latest winner of a SECO Energy Level 2 EV Charger is Harry Farrish from Minneola. To enter, text “EV” to (352) 320-4500 for a link to enter. Or click on the EV Charger Giveaway homepage banner. Visit our Electric Vehicles website section to learn more about the benefits of owning an EV.
Winners in our Go Green and Win: Paperless Billing and Bank Draft Incentive
John Utegg from Ocala is the winner of a $200 SECO Energy bill credit.
Stephanie Eck from Clermont is the winner of a NEST thermostat.
Susan Douglas from The Villages is the winner of an Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa.
William Guffey from Clermont is our final winner of a portable generator – drawn from the list of all members enrolled in SECO Energy’s Surge MitiGator surge protection program. Though our generator giveaway has concluded, from October 1 through November 15, for every new Surge MitiGator lease enrollment or purchase SECO will donate $5 to the American Cancer Society. To learn more or enroll, visit SECOEnergy.com > Energy Solutions > Surge MitiGator.
Congratulations to our recent winners!
Read the full October 2021 SECO News online.