Scott gives OK to FPL’s controversial power plant
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.