77ºF

FPL touts 'next generation natural gas clean energy center' in Port Everglades

New $1.2 billion plant is slated to go online in the summer of 2016

photo

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. – Gone is FPL's Port Everglades conventional oil burning boiler plant and rising rapidly is FPL's next generation natural gas clean energy center.

FPL project manager Dennis Donahue said the old plant was dependent upon foreign oil. Whereas these units will be using American supplied natural gas.

"The best comparison you could do is take a 1959 car and compare it to a 2014 hybrid," Donahue said.

Construction on the 1.2 billion dollar plant is almost half way finished. With 30 thousand cubic yards of concrete and 80 miles of piping and electrical conduit this is a massive project.

"Behind me you will see 450 workers currently," Marie Bertot said. "Next year at the peak of construction we will have 900 workers."

This new plant will harness a secondary source of power from the natural gas turbines. Exhaust is captured and funneled into a heat recovery steam generator. Basically fin tubes filled with water that emit steam. That steam is captured in drums and then pumped to a separate steam turbine that will turn a generator and create even more power.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Follow Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen on Twitter

"The effect that you will see is a pass through on the fuel savings," Donahue said. "The fuel is a direct pass through to the customer. These are 35 percent more efficient."

FPL's aging oil fueled plant built in the 50's came crashing down in August of 2013 with those unsightly smoke stacks being imploded.

That is what the new three stacks look like. They are not nearly as big as the old ones but they perform a whole lot better. Reducing air emissions by 90 percent, and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by half. FPL says its like taking 46 thousand cars off the road each year.

FPL says the plant will not only generate more power but it is more efficient and more reliable. It is slated to go online in the summer of 2016.