Florida municipal utility to shut gas- and oil-fired power plant unit

JEA, a municipal utility serving the city of Jacksonville, Fla., plans to put the gas- and oil-fired Unit 3 at its Northside Generating Station into “reserve storage” by December 2015, four years ahead of its scheduled retirement.

JEA noted in an October investor presentation that the 524-MW Northside Unit 3, dating back to 1977, in the 2013 fiscal year (October 2012-September 2013) was at the bottom in terms of cost in its dispatch stack.

The cheapest of its generating facilities in terms of dispatch that fiscal year was its 194 MW share of the coal-fired Scherer Unit 4 in Georgia. JEA said on its website that the decision to shut Unit 3 is in part to get out ahead of the EPA’s CO2-reducing Clean Power Plan. JEA indicated no plans to shut the much newer, petroleum coke- and coal-fired Units 1 and 2 at Northside.

Northside boasts with Units 1 and 2 two of the largest Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustors (CFBs) in the world that are both clean and fuel-diverse, affording JEA the flexibility to use the most economic fuel choices while still achieving exceptional emission levels. Northside was originally placed into service in 1966, but the oldest unit currently operating (Unit 3) was completed in 1977. Units 1 and 2 were repowered early last decade with the CFBs.

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Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy's Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication's editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University.

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