OUC To Retire Coal Plants, Transition To Clean Energy
The Orlando Utilities Commission announced a plan Wednesday to retire its two large coal plants by 2040.
The plan is part of the utility’s strategy to power all customer homes and businesses with 100% clean energy by midcentury.
The plants, with their looming cylinder-shaped cooling towers, represent the most conspicuous part of the Stanton Energy Center, OUC’s sprawling east Orlando energy-generating complex.
The utility says it will wind down coal-based energy production by 2027 and convert the plants to natural gas before retiring them.
The plants’ retirement would culminate one of the biggest evolutions OUC has faced in its nearly century-long history.
By 2050 the utility says solar will be responsible for half of its energy production, with natural gas and other renewable sources providing the rest.
Some 180 employees work at the coal plants, and OUC says there will be some reductions.
The plan still needs board approval. OUC is the state’s second-largest municipal utility, serving some 250,000 customers in Orange and Osceola counties.
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