Solar center planned near site of FPL’s retired Indiantown coal-fired CHP plant

Florida Power & Light is imploding its last coal-fired plant while also announcing that more renewables will be developed in its place.

The utility plans to install a future solar energy center near the site of the Indiantown Cogeneration Plant, which was retired at the end of 2020. Indiantown’s 495-foot stack and coal chute were brought down with the controlled use of explosives recently.

FPL plans to use portions of the plant’s existing infrastructure to connect the new solar project to the energy grid and will explore opportunities to use parts of the plant site for future clean energy solutions.   

“While the sun is setting on coal use in Florida, cleaner energy is rising like never before,” said Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO. “We have built more than 40 solar energy centers throughout the state and we are well on our way to installing more than 30 million solar panels by 2030.  And, we are not stopping there. With the construction of the world’s largest solar-powered battery facility and an innovative green hydrogen pilot project, we are leading the state and nation in producing energy that is reliable, affordable and better for our environment.”   

FPL purchased the 395-MW Indiantown Cogeneration plant, located in Martin County, in 2017 for the sole purpose of shutting it down because it deemed coal-fired power as uneconomical for its customers. The utility reportedly paid Calypso Energy Holdings $451 million for the plant, according to reports.

The formal retirement marked the end of coal in FPL’s power plant operations.   

In addition, Gulf Power, a part of FPL that serves customers in Northwest Florida, ceased coal-fired power generation at its Plant Crist in Escambia County earlier this year. The plant modernization included converting it to run entirely on American-produced natural gas—cutting the plant’s carbon emissions rate by 40% and marking the end of Gulf Power’s use of coal to generate energy in Florida.    

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 By the end of the decade, FPL forecasts that nearly 40% of the company’s power will be generated by zero-emissions energy sources – a more than 65% increase from 2020.   

The company now has 41 large-scale solar energy centers installed throughout Florida, with nearly 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity.

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