Scott gives OK to FPL’s con­tro­ver­sial power plant

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Money - By Mar­cia Her­oux Pounds [email protected]­, 561-243-6650 or Twit­ter @mar­cia­biz

Florida Power & Light Co.’s con­struc­tion of a $888 mil­lion Da­nia Beach plant was unan­i­mously ap­proved Fri­day by Gov. Rick Scott and his cab­i­net.

The new plant, which crit­ics say is not needed, would re­place FPL’s Fort Laud­erdale plant and in­crease gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity while cut­ting emis­sions, the Juno Beach-based util­ity has said.

The plant, to be called Da­nia Beach Clean En­ergy Cen­ter, would use the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to im­prove gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity from 920 megawatts to

1,200 megawatts, and to cut emis­sions of car­bon monox­ide and par­tic­u­lates by 70 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to FPL. It would be at State Road 7 and South­west 30th Av­enue.

FPL spokesman Chris McGrath said the util­ity was pleased with the de­ci­sion.

“Tear­ing down an ag­ing power plant and re­plac­ing it with the highly ef­fi­cient Da­nia Beach Clean En­ergy Cen­ter will cut pri­mary air emis­sions

70 per­cent, re­duce the amount of nat­u­ral gas we use sys­tem-wide and save cus­tomers hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars over time,” he said.

Sierra Club of Florida chal­lenged ap­proval of the new Da­nia Beach plant, say­ing it would be costly and have climate change im­pacts on the re­gion. The Sierra Club had tried to get Gov. Scott, state Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Jimmy Pa­tro­nis and Agri­cul­ture Com­mis­sioner Adam Put­nam to re­cuse them­selves from the de­ci­sion be­cause they re­ceived money from FPL and its par­ent com­pany, Nex­tEra En­ergy, dur­ing the re­cent elec­tions.

Dur­ing a hear­ing on Fri­day, the util­ity told the gov­er­nor and cab­i­net that the plant will add 300 jobs dur­ing con­struc­tion and save $337 mil­lion for cus­tomers. The plant was pre­vi­ously ap­proved by Florida’s Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, which reg­u­lates util­i­ties, and only needed nods from the gov­er­nor and cab­i­net to move for­ward.

The cur­rent plant would go off­line for about 2.5 years be­gin­ning in 2018, ac­cord­ing to an FPL news re­lease. The new plant would be­gin op­er­a­tions in June 2022. FPL pro­vides elec­tric power to nearly half the state, or about

10 mil­lion homes and busi­nesses.

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