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TEC Cogeneration, Inc. v. Florida Power & Light Co.

76 F.3d 1560 (1996)

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TEC Cogeneration, Inc. v. Florida Power & Light Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

76 F.3d 1560 (1996)

Facts

Florida Power & Light Company (Florida Power) (defendant) was a public electric utility with monopoly power in its service area. Florida statutes regarding energy policy provided the Florida Public Service Commission (the commission) with regulatory authority over electric utilities, encouraged utility monopoly power, and encouraged the development of cogeneration facilities. In 1981, Dade County sought bids for a cogeneration facility (i.e., combined heat and power) for the Miami Downtown Government Center (the center). Florida Power owned the electrical grid with which the center interconnected. TEC Cogeneration, Incorporated (TEC) and other cogenerators (plaintiffs) submitted a successful proposal. The county and TEC contracted for construction and operation of a cogeneration facility. Per the contract, excess power could be sold to county facilities outside of the center such as a nearby hospital. Once the facility was fully operational, TEC sought to distribute its excess power to other county facilities including the hospital via Florida Power. Florida Power refused because it believed the arrangement violated the commission’s rules. These rules required that the generator and the consumer of the electricity have the same exact identity in order to distribute electricity to a customer in another public utility’s service territory. TEC filed suit against Florida Power for antitrust violations. Florida Power claimed state-action immunity in a motion for summary judgment. The district court denied summary judgment. Florida Power appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hill, J.)

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