A power plant implosion in Florida destroyed a set of iconic red and white smoke stacks. The stacks have been part of the Port Everglades landscape for 50 years.
The implosion of each 350-foot-tall stack required nearly 450 pounds of explosives. The stacks, which released sulfur dioxide, were taken down as part of a clean energy project.
As reported by CBS Miami, the new plant will “use 35 percent less fuel and produces more electricity.” The change is not only good for the environment, it will also be more cost effective. The new plant, which will utilize natural gas, is expected to save more than $400 million in costs over the next 30 years.
Marie Bertot of the Florida Power & Light Company explains that the savings will be passed along to consumers.
The power plant implosion is the first step in construction of the new plant. The project is expected to create more then 600 “direct jobs” and over 1,000 “indirect jobs.”
Existing structures and land will be utilized to minimize costs and changes to the landscape. The total costs are expected to top $1.2 billion.
Officials expect the work to be complete in 2016. The natural gas plant will generate enough energy to serve 260,000 Florida residents.
As reported by National Geographic, older power plants are being removed or rebuilt nationwide. The deciding factor in most cases is cost.
Increasingly strict pollution standards have led to the destruction of many older plants. The cost of repairs and upgrades often exceed the cost of tearing down and rebuilding.
While officials contend that the biggest benefit of the new Florida plant may be the use of clean energy, Matthew Schwartz, executive director of the South Florida Wildlands Association, is not convinced.
Schwartz explains that methane, which is a component of natural gas, is a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. He points out that a leak could produce a “major greenhouse impact.”
The power plant implosion in Florida not only change the landscape, the planned center is certain to impact Florida residents for years to come. While there are some critics, the benefits seem to outweigh any potential risk.
[Image via Shutterstock]