Residents upset with FPL's proposed power lines

Florida Power & Light's plan uses 18 miles of US 1 to transmit electricity away from new nuclear reactors Turkey Point


MIAMI – Nobody appears to want Florida Power & Light's 100-foot-tall concrete towers the company wants to build for its two new nuclear reactor at Turkey Point.

Public hearings about the plan began Wednesday.

"Monstrous, unsightly towers," said one man.

"Who's going to build with monstrosities?" added another woman.

FPL wants to use the towers to transmit electricity generated by the two new reactors -- if they're built.

"The overriding criteria for us is to minimize the impact on folks along the routes that we wind up choosing and that's based on costs, it's based on environmental concerns, and it's based on reliability," said Peter Robbins with FPL.

FPL prefers the 18 miles up U.S. 1 from Cutler Bay through Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables, and Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood. Residents in those cities came up with an alternative that takes the line through Kendall.

"How much space they take up, not just the height," said Sherrye Troy, who lives in Kendall. "People's property values would drop."

Some asked why FPL can't move electricity another way.

"You know, the laws of physics matter, and you have to move electrons around through some kind of conducting material: wires," said Jerry Paul with the Energy Information Center.

The city of Coral Gables sued FPL, alleging the size and scope of the company's U.S. 1 plan violated its decades-old franchise agreement. An administrative law judge will hold a public testimony hearing on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the War Memorial Youth Center in Coral Gables.

FPL has the final decision on where the transmission line goes.