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Industry News

Seminole Cancels Proposed Coal-fired Power Plant in Florida

LCG, December 22, 2009--Seminole Electric Cooperative last week canceled plans to construct a 750-MW, coal-fired power plant at Seminole Generating Station, located about 50 miles south of Jacksonville in Putnam County, Florida. The site is already home to two, 650-MW, coal-fired generating units.

Seminole's proposal to build more coal-fired, electric generating capacity had been subject to frequent opposition from environmental organizations claiming that the project posed a serious air pollution risk to surrounding communities and would contribute to global warming.

A Seminole spokesperson stated, "This is a business decision and it is because of the uncertain regulatory and legal environment." Without the planned coal-fired generation, Seminole will review alternatives to supply the future needs of its customers.

Seminole filed a Certificate of Need to construct the electric generating unit with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) in March 2006. The FPSC gave unanimous consent to construct the facility in July of that year. However, site certification was then denied by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2007, and the utility appealed. On June 13 2008, the 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the DEP and directed the agency to issue a certification order approving the new, supercritical coal-fired unit. In August 2008, the secretary of the DEP signed a site certification order that authorizes the construction of the coal-fired power plant.

The plan approved by the FPSC in 2006 called for commercial operations to commence on May 1, 2012. In July 2006, the total project was estimated to cost $1.4 billion, including over $250 million to improve emission controls at the existing coal units.
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