More than two dozen community groups plan to deliver over 5,000 signatures on petitions to Duke Energy Wednesday that call on the utility to cut its use of coal and to invest in clean energy.
The coalition of environmental, faith, public health, business and labor organizations are scheduled to gather at noon in St. Petersburg's Williams Park before delivering the petitions. The group, dubbed the Sunshine State Clean Energy Coalition, says it is concerned about Duke's reliance on fossil fuels to supply electricity to its 1.7 million Florida customers.
Duke has become about 70 percent reliant on natural gas for its electricity production since the closure of its Crystal River nuclear plant. The Crystal River power station includes four coal-fired units, two of which the utility plans to close in 2018 when a new natural gas facility is expected to come on line.