- Within the next week, Florida Power & Light intends to mothball the 250-MW coal-fired Cedar Bay Generating Plant, located in Jacksonville, Palm Beach Post reports. Closing the facility early will mean avoiding 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the utility said.
- FPL purchased the plant last year specifically with the intention of shutting it down. The utility says taking the plant offline will save customers about $70 million. A second, similar deal is now being considered.
- The utility also said it is nearing completion of three new solar power plants which will provide customers with a combined 224 MW of carbon-free power.
FPL will close out the year by shutting down the Cedar Bay station, bringing to fruition a plan it hatched last year to help save money and clean up its power mix.
The utility said it had been obligated to purchase power from the plant under a 1988 contract with the previous owners, but when cleaner power became cheaper, the power purchase agreement became uneconomical. That led to a buyout and plans to shutter the facility, a move FPL says will save customers tens of millions.
"Buying and shutting down old, inefficient coal plants is unprecedented in America," FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said in a statement. He said the approach is innovative, environmentally beneficial and saves customers millions of dollars.
The Florida Public Service Commission approved the plant purchase last year. The utility intends to dismantle the facility over the course of two years.
FPL said it is also in the process of considering a similar deal purchasing and phasing out another coal-fired power plant located in Indiantown, Fla. If approved, that deal could save customers $129 million. The plant is expected to be shut down by the end of 2018.
While FPL has lagged in the addition of renewable capacity to its system, the utility said this year it installed more than 1 million new solar panels in Florida, and "plans to install significantly more solar every year through at least 2020." New panels were installed at three new solar energy centers, FPL said, which together will provide approximately 224 WM within the next few days.