PSC endorses FPL plan to acquire, phase out coal-fired power plant

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved an agreement between Florida Power & Light Company and the Office of Public Counsel for FPL to acquire and phase out a coal-powered plant in Juno Beach.

The plan, part of a settlement between the parties initialized in March and revised last month, is projected to save FPL customers more than $70 million and avoid nearly 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

"As we continue to … improve the efficiency of our system … this plan is another smart step forward to serve our customers with affordable clean energy now and in the future."

While FPL is currently required to buy power from the Cedar Bay Generating Plant, a 250-megawatt coal-fired facility in Jacksonville, until 2024, today’s electricity costs are much lower than those at the time the agreement was initiated in 1988. Therefore, FPL intends to terminate that contract, reduce the plant’s operations by 90 percent, and eventually phase it out of service.

The plan also won support from environmental groups such as Audubon Florida, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"FPL and Public Counsel are to be commended for reaching a settlement in support of closing the Cedar Bay plant," Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper said. "We applaud the PSC for approving this proposal that will reduce carbon emissions. Utilizing cleaner fuel sources like natural gas and solar result in lower emissions and groundwater use compared to coal-fired power plants."

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