Orlando Utilities vowing closure of coal-fired units within seven years

Orlando Utilities Commission’s management and advisors announced it wants OUC to reduce its coal-fired generation within five years and eliminate it completely by 2027.

The Florida-based municipal electricity provider, which serves about 400,000 customers, long has proclaimed a plan to achieve 100 percent renewable generation by 2050 and net zero carbon dioxide emissions. The integrated resource plan detailed Thursday lays out how OUC hopes to get to both goals.

Two OUC coal-fired units will be converted to gas-fired generation. Both of those converted units are planned to be retired no later than 2040, according to the release.

The Stanton Energy Center, OUC’s primary power facility, is a 1,876-MW facility. It consists of: two coal-fired boiler electrical generating units and two combined cycle combustion turbine-electrical generators.

Solar energy will be the tip of OUC’s clean energy spear. To make up for lulls caused by bad weather, the utility will deploy energy storage technologies and consider carbon-free power alternatives such as hydrogen and small modular nuclear reactors.

“For nearly a century, OUC has provided reliable, affordable essential electric and water services to our customers,” said Clint Bullock, General Manager & CEO. “As we evolve to deliver clean energy and value to our customers, we’ve made significant investments in innovative, sustainable solutions. This EIRP energy roadmap — which is the result of a comprehensive, sophisticated analysis — will allow us to meet the critical Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050 goal, as well as interim targets of 50 percent CO2 emissions reduction by 2030 and 75 percent by 2040 as we move toward a cleaner, greener future.”

OUC will seek public feedback in a November 17 workshop forum. The results of the final integrated resource plan will be approved by the municipal’s board at a later date.

The utility’s advisory council helping arrive at the recommendation included a group representing Orange County and the cities of Orlando and St. Cloud.

Siemens PTI supported the development of the EIRP and evaluated the list of energy portfolio options for the utility to consider. Essence Partners led the strategy for stakeholder engagement and facilitated that process.

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Orlando Utilities Commission was host utility for POWERGEN International in 2018. POWERGEN 2021 is also planned for Orlando.

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