The older facility ran on oil and the new facility will run on natural gas.
The number of people employed by the new and old plant will be similar but green house gas emissions will be cut substantially with the new plant which will become operational in 2 years time.
Thankfully the manatees were consulted and their homes will be preserved. As Florida Today writes,
"Florida Power & Light Co.'s new plant will continue to warm manatees as well as humans during winter.
The company plans to install by next winter an electric heating system solely to keep the sea cows balmy as it converts the plant. The warm water near both power plants for decades has trained them to winter there.
When operational, the new plant will discharge about 620 million gallons of warm water back into the lagoon daily, about 25 percent less than the old plant."
This small relatively local piece of news we feel is quite important really when examined in detail.
Funny first of all that the manatees rely on the man made structure so much for their survival in the winter. A strange juxtaposition of man and nature.
The change from oil to nat gas is good for the short term but we feel that increasing reliance of the US utilities on nat gas is just as concerning as America's reliance on oil for transportation. Nat gas is limited and will eventually run out although the Americas are blessed with a large supply.
Sad that the new generation is not split between nat gas and alternatives like wind and tidal in this Indian River location.
FPL has committed to develop solar PV generation at a nearby Kennedy Space Center facility.
So the total picture appears positive but FPL was pushed hard by Brevard County Fl to make the change due to the emission levels from the old oil powered generation.