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Lakeland Believes that McIntosh Issues are Manageable

A spokesperson for Lakeland Electric in Florida told GenerationHub March 25 that the problems facing Unit 3 at the McIntosh power plant are fixable and the plant should be back in operation later this spring.

The plant is currently in a planned outage that is expected to last several more weeks, Lakeland spokesperson Cindy Clemmons said.

“Our leadership, led by our General Manger, Joel Ivy, is very optimistic that we can successfully solve this issue,” the spokesperson said. “First and foremost, safety of our workers is the primary focus. Second to that is the cost to solve the issue.”

There is not yet a cost estimate for the repairs, Clemmons added.

The Florida municipal utility acknowledged the problems in a March 22 news release posted to the Lakeland website. The recently-discovered problems concern how switchgears and other equipment might respond under “emergency” events.

Sargent & Lundy did a 2015 evaluation at the plant that helped identify the issues there.

There is no elevated risk of explosion. “This concern has existed for 34 years with no incident. The only difference now is we are aware that it is an engineering concern that needs mitigated,” Clemmons said.

“Our engineers and other production employees are currently looking at various options to mitigate and solve the issue. We do not have a cost yet,” Clemmons said.

The entire McIntosh power plant is a 990-MW facility with various generating units that can burn coal along with natural gas, oil, and fuel oil. Unit 3 is a 364-MW coal unit.

The plant is owned 60 percent by Lakeland Electric and 40 percent by Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC).

This article was republished with permission.