Environmental Benefits and Cost Savings Compelling
JEA and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) have agreed to terms to decommission the St. Johns River Power Park (SJRPP), a 1,252 MW coal-fired electric generating plant owned jointly by JEA (80 percent) and FPL (20 percent), in early 2018. When SJRPP was constructed in the early 1980s it represented the largest construction project in Jacksonville’s history. SJRPP has reliably served JEA and FPL customers for 30 years.
JEA has excess generating capacity due primarily to effective conservation methods used by JEA customers. As a result, last year SJRPP produced half as much energy as it did 10 years ago. Retirement of the facility will result in significant annual cost savings that can be directed to debt reduction and important capital projects that will benefit JEA’s customers. JEA’s carbon footprint will be decreased by 30 percent and its nitrogen to the St. Johns River reduced as a result of plant retirement.
“This agreement is important for JEA and will allow us to right-size our power generation capabilities while offering, significant environmental benefits to the community,” said JEA CEO Paul McElroy. “The operational savings we will realize will help us address capital needs and pay down debt to keep rates stable. We regret that this move will result in job displacements for many dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled employees. Our team is fully committed to helping them by providing outplacement and training services, as well as a separation benefit package that reflects their years of service and dedication.”
“We’ve been extremely proud to partner with JEA at SJRPP to provide reliable power for both utilities’ customers for three decades. Now, however, it makes financial and environmental sense for all of our customers to close this coal plant,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “ Closing the plant early results in enormous value for FPL customers – saving millions of dollars annually as well as continuing to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions for all of Florida – another major step forward in our affordable, reliable and clean energy strategy.”
SJRPP currently employs 204 people. All employees will be offered employment opportunities for open positions at JEA as well as the opportunity to apply for positions at FPL. Additionally, separation benefit packages and professional outplacement services will be provided for displaced employees.
The proposed agreement requires final approval from JEA’s Board of Directors and other regulatory agencies.
For additional information about Jacksonville’s community owned utility, go to https://www.jea.com.