INDIANTOWN, Fla. — Florida Power & Light has said goodbye to a long-standing power plant in Martin County.
The company's last coal plant in Indiantown was imploded just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, marking a major milestone in the company's quest for cleaner energy.
The showcase of the project was bringing down the 495-foot chimney stack, which crumbled in about eight seconds, according to Mark Loizeaux, president and owner of CDI Construction Demolition, Inc.
Loizeaux said 171 pounds of explosives were used at 104 locations on the conveyor and 340 locations in the chimney. In the chimney, dynamite was used for imploding the stack in less than a second.
The plant was built in 1995 and had been used as an energy source for more than 20 years.
The rest of the plant, which includes the boiler, ash silo and other small structures, will be removed later this year.
FPL will be replacing it with a $100 million new solar energy plant.
The company has replaced old oil-burning plants, such as the one at Port Everglades, with natural gas plants. FPL is also investing heavily in solar power.
"We're able to actually lower customer bills, because coal plants are just expensive to operate, and we're able to, obviously, clean up the environment because coal plants produce, unfortunately, emissions, and we're going to be replacing it with a solar facility that produces zero emissions and uses no water," FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said.