FPL to demolish power plant
PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (WSVN) -- Florida Power and Light crews are preparing for the largest power plant demolition in Florida's history.
The iconic red and white smoke stacks that have been in Fort Lauderdale for more than 50 years will be gone on Tuesday.
About 450 pounds of dynamite is already in place to bring down the massive 350-foot tall smoke stacks that have graced the skyline since the 1960s. FPL has ordered their demolition to make way for a new gas-powered, clean energy power plant.
Steve Pettigrew, president of Demolition Dynamics held up a sample of an essential tool in the demolition process. "This is a stick of dynamite, an inch-and-quarter by 8, and that's what we're using on the stack. Right now, what we have now, is the dynamite already located into the pre-drilled holes that they set into the stack. All that has been attached with the primer cords, and that'll be synchronized by the blasting event."
Demolition will begin with the boilers and then work its way to the stacks. It will take about 60 seconds for it all to come down. "When it blasts out this opening area here," Pettigrew noted, pointing out a large gap in one of the stacks, "it will fall exactly like a tree."
In Riviera Beach, in June of 2011, a similar demolition took place. FPL Project manager Dennis Donahue said, "Everything you see here right now will be gone before we start the new construction, including all the buildings that you see and the outlying concrete."
The smoke stacks have been off-line since February. They used to run on imported oil that emitted sulfur dioxide. Now, the new clean power energy plant will cut emissions by 90 percent. "For me, bringing in the new is what it's all about and putting in the new energy," said Donahue, "and while they will be missed, I think they will be appreciatively missing from our environment."
Once it is finished, the new power plant will give 260,000 FPL customers power. The new plant will take about three years to be fully functional.
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