Crews prepare for Port Everglades demolition

Florida Power & Light replacing 53-year-old structures with new facility

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida Power & Light on Friday gave a tour of its Port Everglades Power Plant a few days before demolishing it.

Crews have worked for months to demolish the aging facility. All that remained Friday were its four blue boilers and landmark red-and-white smoke stacks. Those come down at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday.

"Yeah, this is a landmark," said Gregory Brostowicz with FPL. "It's been here for 50 years, [it's] very recognizable, but you know, evolution happens, new technology. It's a great thing. We're starting a new day for South Florida."

Demolition crews placed 450 pounds of explosives around and inside the structures, filling 320 holes with dynamite.

Steve Pettigrew with Contract Drilling & Blasting said the structures would come down in a carefully coordinated string of explosions.

"There's quite a bit of room on this site, but we're treating it like we're downtown," he said. "We're covering really well and doing everything we can as if we're in a very exposed area."

The existing structures will be replaced with a state-of-the-art, high-efficiency power generating facility. It will burn natural gas, which FPL said is 35 percent more efficient and gives off less emissions.

"Every dollar we save in fuel is something that saves a dollar in customers' pockets," said Brostowicz. "It's a great thing for customers and it's a great thing for the environment, so it's a win-win."

FPL is fronting the $1 billion to build the new plant. Customers will likely see an increase in their base rates when the new plant goes online in 2016 to repay FPL for the capital investment.

But the company said over the 30 year life of the plant, the reduction in fuel charges will result in a net savings of $400 million for customers.