BALANCE SHEET BLOG – HOLLYWOOD, FL


New Power Plant
April 8, 2012, 9:26 AM
Filed under: Infrastructure

Did you know that the Port Everglades Power Plant is located almost entirely in Hollywood, and that it’s soon to be demolished?

At a recent community meeting at Hollywood City Hall, FPL representatives described the company’s plan to replace the archaic oil-burning Port Everglades plant with a modern, much cleaner facility fueled by natural gas.  FPL publicity notes that (1) the new structure fits within the existing plant’s footprint, (2) it will have three shorter stacks instead of the four smoking monsters we have today (140′ as opposed to 350′), (3) no new pipeline installation will be required, and (4)  the project will create 650 construction jobs.

FPL says the new plant will cut carbon dioxide emissions in half and reduce air emissions by more than 90 percent.  It is expected to generate power using 35 percent less fuel and will supply enough power for about 260,000 FPL customers.  The new plant is scheduled to open in 2016.  FPL is seeking project approval now from the State of Florida Siting Board. You can read more about the new plant on this FPL website.

Port Everglades Power PlantThis is definitely good news for Hollywood.

The source of the natural gas to operate the Port Everglades plant tells the story.  Just five or six years ago, energy companies were seeking permission to ship foreign liquified natural gas (LNG) to off-shore locations (e.g., the Bahamas) where a proposed plant would convert the LNG back to gas.  An ocean-bottom pipeline was to be constructed from the regasification plant to the vicinity of John U. Lloyd State Park, followed by horizontal directional drilling to get the pipeline under the Intracoastal and then new pipeline construction all the way to the Florida Gas Transmission Line located near the Florida Turnpike. This was a huge, potentially destructive project that drew strong opposition based on public safety and environmental concerns.

Now the whole picture has changed.  Domestic natural gas production based on Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale — the process known as fracking — will supply natural gas to our FPL plant for its 30-year expected life.  Major landscape disruption and potential damage to the water supply occur from this process but Southeast Florida is not a fracking site.  Our plant will be fueled by natural gas extracted in states north of Florida.

While we applaud replacement of the old FPL polluter plant, at the same time we’re troubled with our gain at the expense of so many other US citizens further north who are now struggling to secure protections from the depredations of fracking. For all of us, transitioning to a lifestyle less dependent on fossil fuels is more important than ever.

3 Comments

This is good. I love it.

Comment by Kiara Lauren

Natural gas while easier on the atmosphere than coal and oil, is still a fossil fuel that causes sizable emissions of climate-warming gases. Opponents see the push for natural gas as a distraction from more pressing priorities, like improving efficiency and generating renewable power. And hazards associated with fracking make natural gas not a positive thing, just less negative.

Comment by Estelle Loewenstein

Can the issue of fracking be raised by Florida State Siting Board ? Fracking impacts the water systems in the northern States making the water undrinkable. Thanks for the update.

Comment by Rosemary Sabino




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